NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are falling in early trading Friday, following a sharp sell-off in European markets, as investors consider the implications of the Federal Reserve's decision to hold off raising interest rates. The price of oil fell sharply, pushing down energy stocks. Financial stocks, which would benefit from higher rates, also dropped.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 179 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,494 as of 10.30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 16 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,973 and the Nasdaq composite declined 30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,863.
THE FED: The Federal Reserve decided Thursday to keep interest rates at record lows for now, citing low inflation, weakness in the global economy and unsettled financial markets. Investors appear worried by the central bank's concern about the global economy. The Fed meets again next month and in December.
THE QUOTE: "For the markets, it means more months of uncertainty, which investors do not like," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
EUROPE SLUMPS: Germany's DAX was down 3 percent while the CAC-40 in France fell 2.9 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was 1.4 percent lower.
PLANE PROBLEMS: Aviation equipment manufacturer Rockwell Collins slumped after the company's sales forecast for next year came in lower than analysts' forecasts. The company cited weak demand for business and regional jets. Its stock fell $1.31, or 1.5 percent, to $83.95.
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CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1378. The dollar dropped against the Japanese yen, trading 0.5 percent lower at 119.83 yen.
TUMBLE IN TOKYO: The dollar's decline against the yen hit Japanese stocks. A stronger yen makes hurts Japan's exports. The Nikkei 225 fell 2 percent as traders fretted about the potential impact on Japanese exports stemming from the yen's appreciation.
ASIA'S DAY: Elsewhere in Asia, sentiment held up better. South Korea's Kospi added 1 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.3 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent.
OIL DOWN: The benchmark U.S. rate fell $1.58 to $45.31 a barrel on concerns over the slowing global economy. Brent crude, the main contract for international oils, fell 90 cents at $48.96.
BONDS: Prices of U.S. government bonds rose, pushing down the yield on the 10-year benchmark Treasury note to 2.16 percent.