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Stocks slump, extending decline from last week

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm •  Published: April 7, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — For investors, a volatile stock market passed a worrisome milestone on Monday.

The market logged its longest losing streak in two months, and extended a sell-off that began last week.

After biotechnology and internet stocks pulled the market lower on Friday, it was companies that sell non-essential goods and services that dragged on the market to start the week. Concerns about earnings and sales drove declines. CarMax slumped after the used car dealer reported lower net income, and Mattel dropped on concerns about demand for big-name toys.

Stocks have been volatile this year after surging in 2013. Investors now appear to question whether their lofty prices will be justified by what's expected to be slower growth in first-quarter earnings.

"The markets are struggling to choose a direction," said Joe Tanious, a global market strategist for JPMorgan Funds. "I suspect that this choppiness in the markets is something we are going to be seeing for some time to come."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 20.05 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,845.04. It has fallen for three straight days, the longest losing span since late January, and has shed 2.4 percent since its all-time high of 1,890.89 on April 2.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 166.84 points, or 1.02 percent, to 16,245.87 Monday. The Nasdaq composite had the biggest decline, falling 47.97 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,079.75.

There were signs of stability in the market. Technology and biotechnology stocks, which were pummeled by investors at the end of last week, were mixed on Monday.

Facebook edged up 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $56.95 on Monday after it dropped 4.6 percent Friday.

Netflix, which also slumped last week, gained 69 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $338.

Consumer discretionary stocks — companies that sell goods and services that are not necessities for shoppers — saw the biggest decline among the S&P 500's 10 sectors.

CarMax slipped $1.88, or 4.1 percent, to $43.68 after the company said late Friday that its fourth-quarter earnings fell. Net income declined as the effects of an accounting correction offset higher demand for its vehicles. The company's revenue also missed Wall Street expectations.

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