U.S. stocks declined on Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 jumped the most in more than a month, as Wall Street weighed reports that Russia was considering a measure that would allow its courts to seize foreign assets.
“To us that would signal a threat from the Kremlin that the Russian-U.S.-Europe conflict economically might take a turn for the worse, should it be enacted. They are signaling that unless concessions or negotiations take place, we’re prepared to do this,” said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for US Bank Wealth Management.
“It’s a turn for the worse, it’s an unwelcome signaling from the Kremlin that this, a limitation on capital flows to Russia, is a possibility. Maybe the markets are reacting to it,” Russell said.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, jumped 19.3 percent to 15.77 and the price of gold erased losses and turned higher.
Apple fell as the iPhone maker withdrew an update for its operating system after the software cut cell service for some users.
Economic reports had orders for long-lasting goods falling 18.2 percent in August, while applications for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 293,000 last week, less than the 300,000 estimate.
A third number came from financial-data firm Markit, which said its initial services Purchasing Managers Index for September came in at 58.5 versus an expected 59.0.
The S&P 500 lost 26.71 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,971.59, with technology and financials knocked the hardest among its 10 main industry groups.
The Nasdaq declined 79.42 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,475.80.
For every share rising, four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 189 million shares traded as of 10:55 a.m. Eastern. Composite volume neared 879 million.
The dollar extended its advance versus the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, while dollar-denominated commodities were mixed.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude-oil futures for November delivery fell 37 cents to $92.43 a barrel and gold futures for December lost $9.60 to $1,209.90 an ounce.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note used to figure mortgage rates and other consumer loans fell 3 basis points to 2.54 percent.
The 10-year Treasury yield’s level remains “conducive for moderately improving earnings expectations,” Nick Raich, CEO at The Earnings Scout, wrote in an emailed note.
On Wednesday, stocks rallied, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq halting a three-day losing run, after an upbeat report on new-home sales and as investors bet on further monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Coming Up This Week:
8:30 a.m. Weekly jobless claims
8:30 a.m. Durable goods
1:20 p.m. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart
8:30 a.m. GDP revision
9:55 a.m. Consumer sentiment