Stocks slump again, putting S&P 500 back into red for year

It was unclear if the gains were a return to calm or only a respite from the torrent of selling on Wall Street overnight that spurred a further drop in technology-related shares in Asia.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index sank sharply on the open Thursday but leveled off, regaining some lost ground.

That reignited worries over the impact of rising borrowing costs, wages and tariffs on corporate profits and caused S&P industrial stocks to slide 2.24 percent.

The Dow tumbled 2.4 per cent to 24,583.42.

Charts for the entire region were awash with the red that indicates losses, but the declines were mostly in the 2 per cent to 3 per cent range.

Wednesday's decline left the S&P and the Dow Jones down 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent for the year respectively. Technology companies have plunged, and the Nasdaq composite is coming off its biggest one-day loss in seven years. Experts think the country's gross domestic product grew 3.3 percent from July to September, according to FactSet.

Two other giant US companies, Amazon and Alphabet, will report their third-quarter results after the close of trading.

Shares in iRobot plunged 12.3 per cent to United States dollars 80.49 after the robotics technology company said tariffs will reduce its profitability in the fourth quarter.

The S&P 500 shrunk by nearly 47 points or about 1.73% while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost slightly over 2%, dropping over 150 points.

Reacting after hours, Netflix dipped 3 percent and Facebook, which reports results on October 30, lost 2.3 percent. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors seek less risky assets.

While the US economy continues to grow, despite trade wars, the same can not be said of USA corporate profit growth, with a slew of disappointing forecasts this earnings season showing how tariffs, rising wages and borrowing costs, as well as jitters over geopolitical events are hitting companies.

The company had forecast holiday season sales and profit that missed Wall Street targets, projecting revenue growth that would be the slowest in years. "We also reached a potential peak for earnings", said Nate Thooft, senior managing director at Manulife Mutual Funds, told AFP news agency, "Companies that show marginal weakness take a beating".

In Hong Kong, airline Cathay Pacific's shares dropped 6.5 per cent after it said it had discovered a data breach affecting 9.4 million passengers.

Boeing jumped 3.3 percent after beating analysts' earnings forecasts.

A three-week slide has left the benchmark S&P 500 index on track for its worst month since February 2009, right before the stock market hit bottom following the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both were down around 0.5% on the day.

Investors moved to the relative safety of U.S. government bonds, which move inversely to yields, withthe 10-year falling 3.9 basis points to 3.077%, its lowest level in three weeks.

The Nasdaq again flirted with correction territory, falling more than 10 percent from its August 29 record closing high before paring losses to end off those levels. AT&T, however, reported a 7.5 percent drop in quarterly results. Other big decliners: Apple slid 2.2 percent to $217.86, while Alphabet fell 4.4 percent to $1,066.22.