Published: Wed, January 31, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

United States stocks close lower on sell-off

United States stocks close lower on sell-off

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 362 points to 26,076, recovering slightly after falling as much as 411 points. A rise in 10-year Treasury note yield above 2.72% on Monday also has drawn attention, because rising rates can undercut appetite for stocks if government paper offer richer yields than risk assets like stocks. The S&P 500 fell 31 points to 2,822.

Analysts blamed hefty losses in health care and technology stocks and declining crude oil prices, which caused energy stocks to fall.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed gauge for investors' "fears", rose to as much as 14.69, its highest level since August.

MetLife was among worst performers on the S&P 500 following news the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the insurer's failure to pay some workers' pensions.

The Dow is up 1,720.26 points, 7 percent. Dow component United Health Group dropped 5.6%, while Express Scripts dropped more than 9% to lead S&P 500 decliners. Among earnings, Pfizer shares fell 3 percent. MetLife dropped 8.7 percent after saying the USA financial regulator is looking into the insurer's failure to pay some workers' pensions.

Tonight, U.S. President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, which is likely to tout the strong economy, will be scrutinized for clues on trade policy and infrastructure spending. The Nasdaq lost 64 points, or 0.9%, to hit 7,401.

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