U.S. Stocks End Sharply Lower As Tech Shares Sell Off Again

By Ryan Vlastelica Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 suffering their biggest one-day decline since May as the technology sector resumed its downward trend, overshadowing positive news in the financial sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 156 points, or 0.7%, to 21,247. The S&P 500 lost 20 points to close at 2,419, a decline of 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 1.7%, or 100 points, to 5,663.75. Thursday marked the third straight session where the Nasdaq moved 1% in either direction, volatility that is almost entirely due to the tech sector , to which the Nasdaq is heavily weighted, and which ended 1.8% lower on Thursday. Among the biggest tech decliners of the day, Apple Inc. fell 1.5% while Facebook Inc. was off 1.4% and Microsoft Corp. shed 1.9%. On the upside, financial shares rose 0.7% after the 34 biggest U.S. banks passed the Federal Reserve's stress test and received a green light for plans to return capital to shareholders. Citigroup Inc. gained 2.8%.

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