U.S. Stocks Open With Sharp Losses Amid Weak Data, Earnings

MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower after a weaker-than-expected durable-good orders report triggered fears that economic growth is slowing. Durable-goods orders fell 3.4% in December, raising questions about whether businesses are really ready to ramp up investment in 2015. A string of disappointing earnings reports from the likes of Microsoft Corp., Caterpillar Inc., DuPont and Freeport-MoMoRan Inc. also dented sentiment. The S&P 500 opened 23 points, or 1.2%, lower at 2,033. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 263 points, or 1.5%, to 17,411. The Nasdaq Composite began the day with a loss of 75 points, or 1.6%, at 4,695

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