Another sharp drop in US indexes, a day after biggest gain of year, as volatility returns

Markets Associated Press

U.S. stocks are falling sharply in midday trading, a day after the market had its biggest gain of the year.

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The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 223 points, or 1.3 percent, to 16,774 as of noon Eastern time Thursday.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 25 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,943. The Nasdaq composite fell 54 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,414.

Energy stocks dropped as the price of crude oil fell again. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.02 to $86.28 a barrel. Exxon Mobil fell the most in the Dow.

Stocks jumped Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting indicated the central bank was in no hurry to raise interest rates.

Gap plunged 12 percent after the company said its CEO Glenn Murphy will retire in February.