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Dow plummets 600 points, erasing 2018 gains

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The sell-off in stocks accelerated Wednesday, wiping away gains for the year for the Dow and S&P 500 and sending the Nasdaq into correction territory, as mixed corporate earnings and weak housing data fueled anxiety that rising inflation and trade skirmishes will crimp economic growth. Treasurys rallied for a second day on demand for safe-haven assets.

The S&P extended its October rout to 8.8%, making it the worst month since February 2009. The Dow also turned negative after shedding 608 points, or 2.41%. Disappointing earnings from AT&T and Texas Instruments drove declines in the communications and semiconductor groups, offsetting a promising outlook from Boeing.

The Nasdaq entered correction territory from its record closing high in August after falling 4.43%.

“There’s just right now a heightened sensitivity to what can go wrong,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward D. Jones. “We will have more of these days where stocks move a lot within the day as everyone’s trying to sort through what do today’s reports mean.”

Amid the flood of earnings that will bring reports from Alphabet, Intel and Amazon.com on Thursday, economic data continues to underwhelm, particularly on the rate-sensitive housing front. New home sales sank again, sending battered homebuilders lower. Fragile market sentiment is also working through reports that potential bombs were sent to two former U.S. presidents and the New York headquarters of CNN.

Bloomberg News