The major U.S. stock indexes suffered their worst trading session since August 2017 on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and the second consecutive day of losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 363 points to 26,076 while the Nasdaq fell 64 points to 7,402 and the S&P 500 declined 31 points to 2,822.
The healthcare sector was pushing the market lower after news that Amazon Inc. (AMZN) , Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) were starting a consortium to provide their U.S. employees with affordable healthcare.
Anthem Inc. (ANTM) closed down 5.3%, Humana Inc. (HUM) fell 3.1%, Aetna Inc. (AET) declined 3%, CVS Health Corp (CVS) fell 4% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) dropped 4.3%. The Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) dropped 2.14%.
The energy sector was also experiencing a sharp selloff as oil prices tanked. Global benchmark Brent crude prices were down 0.5% to $69.11 a barrel while prices for West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.5% to $64.57 a barrel.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) dropped 6.3% to $3.68 following reports that the company was laying off 400 people, or about 13% of its workforce, while Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) dropped 6.4% to $4.49. Parsley Energy Inc. (PE) tanked 14.2% to $24.30.
Earnings reports also were playing a part in the selloff.
Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) fell 8% on heavy volume after the company reported that its fourth-quarter net income fell 82%.
Specialty glass maker Corning Inc. (GLW) was also falling following its earnings release. The company reported adjusted earnings and revenue that were ahead of expectations, but the stock fell 5.6% on heavy volume.
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