Stock markets turned higher in European trading Thursday as investors settled somewhat after steep declines in Asia and the US spurred by worries over trade and the USA economy. In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.8 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was flat.
The S&P 500 index slid 46.88 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,658.69.
At 11:15 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 428.64 points, or 1.72 percent, at 24,555.91, the S&P 500 was down 61.93 points, or 2.29 percent, at 2,643.64 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 215.49 points, or 2.94 percent, at 7,102.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 1.1 percent.
Disappointing quarterly results and outlooks continued to weigh on the market, stoking investors' jitters over future growth in corporate profits. That, along with gains in chipmakers, helped technology stocks .SPLRCT rise 2.89 percent.
Two other giant USA companies, Amazon and Alphabet, will report their third-quarter results after the close of trading.
Several big companies, including Amazon, AT&T and Alphabet, have reported earnings or revenue this week that fell short of expectations. When the Commerce Department report on third-quarter growth comes out Friday, it's expected to show another solid pickup of 3.3 percent. Media and communications stocks, health care companies and banks also took heavy losses.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 66 cents to $66.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite is now 12.3 per cent below its August peak. That was its biggest drop since August 2011 but it is still up 3 percent for the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.4%, meaning it had erased all 2018's gains by the close. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors seek less risky assets.
Amazon tumbled 8.7 percent after it missed quarterly sales estimates and gave a below par holiday-season sales forecast, sparking a 3.07-percent plunge in the S&P consumer discretionary sector.
The indexes were pulled down by Amazon, Facebook and Netflix, all of which lost more than 5 percentage points in value, while Google-parent Alphabet plummeted 4.8 percent.
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 company also raised its estimates for the year, citing faster orders for aircraft. On Wednesday it edged up 0.6 per cent Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 4 cents to $76.21 a barrel.
The dollar climbed to 112.59 yen from 112.44 yen. The fall came after the online retailer and cloud computing heavyweight reported that its quarterly net sales rose to $56.58 billion from $43.74 billion a year earlier.