NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The day started off with strong employment indicators getting overshadowed by a Russian strike against Western sanctions. That set the tone for a choppy trading session Thursday. The S&P 500 suffered a setback of about 4% from its recent high. A 5% correction would then take the index down about another 16 points to 1,893.
The S&P 500 gave up 0.56% to 1,909.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.46% to 16,368.27. The Nasdaq fell 0.46% to 4,334.97. The vast majority of broad market sectors were weak. Down over 1%, health care was the biggest loser, followed by consumer discretionary, basic materials, and energy.
"We've entered a whole new level of geopolitical concerns that's creating growth worries for investors who would rather sell U.S. stocks today and ask questions later," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers.
Wall Street's upbeat start was supported by a downtrend in U.S. jobless claims. But the mood quickly soured after Russia retaliated against Western trade sanctions by threatening to ban imports of food and agricultural products from Europe and the U.S. Pressures on the market intensified on news that President Obama was considering airstrikes against violent militants in Iraq who were targeting religious minorities.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in a post-ECB press conference that geopolitical risks to the eurozone economy were rising and that the West's strained relations with Russia over Ukraine remains an area of uncertainty for the fragile eurozone economy.