closing bell

Dow Falls 216, Nasdaq Closes Down 46

Stocks had rallied in the early going Monday as exit polls showed that a center-left coalition in Italy that favored economic reforms in the euro region's third-largest economy was leading. That gain evaporated after a later poll predicted that the elections could result in a stalemate in the country's legislature. The losses accelerate in the late afternoon as partial official results showed an upstart protest campaign led by a comedian making stunning inroads.
Associated Press,

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks had their worst drop in more than three months as the prospect of political paralysis in Italy raised the specter of Europe's debt crisis flaring up again.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 216.40 points, or 1.6 percent, to 13,784.17, its biggest drop since Nov. 7.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 27.75 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,487.85, dropping below 1,500 for the first time in three weeks. The Nasdaq composite dropped 45.57 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,116.25.

Stocks had rallied in the early going as exit polls showed that a center-left coalition in Italy that favored economic reforms in the euro region's third-largest economy was leading. That gain evaporated after a later poll predicted that the elections could result in a stalemate in the country's legislature. The losses accelerate in the late afternoon as partial official results showed an upstart protest campaign led by a comedian making stunning inroads.

"There was confidence in this election and obviously confidence imploded," said Ben Schwartz, a market strategist at Lightspeed Financial.

Investors dumped Italian government bonds, sending their yields higher, and erased most of an early rally in Italy's stock market. The yield on Italy's 10-year government bond shot up to 4.43 percent from 4.12 percent early in the day, a sign that investors' confidence in Italy's government was dimming quickly. The country's benchmark stock index, the FSTE MIB, rose 0.7 percent, giving up an early gain of 4 percent.

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Investors worry about the outcome of Italy's election because it could set off another crisis of confidence in the region's shared currency, the euro. Financial markets in both Europe and the U.S. have swooned at the prospect of Italy or Spain being dragged into the region's government debt troubles, which have led to bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal and severe disruptions in financial markets.

As stocks plunged, gauges of market sentiment indicated that investors were becoming more risk-averse and parking their money in defensive assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is widely considered an ultra-safe investment, fell sharply as investors plowed money into U.S. government bonds. The yield fell to 1.88 percent from 1.96 percent late Friday.

The VIX index, a measure of how volatile investors expect the stock market to be, surged 34 percent to 19, the biggest one-day move since August 2011.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Barnes & Noble rose $1.55, or 12 percent, to $15.06 after founder and chairman Leonard Riggio told the bookseller he is going to try to buy the company's retail business. Hertz advanced 31 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $19.04, despite posting a fourth-quarter loss, after the rental car company said that pricing improved, volume rose and it cut costs.

The Standard & Poor's 500 had its first weekly decline of the year last week. Investors sent stocks plunging after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting revealed disagreement over how long to keep buying bonds in an effort to boost the economy.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before the U.S. Senate's banking committee Tuesday and again before Congress on Wednesday. Investors will watch to see if he gives any further indications about how long the central bank intends to keep providing stimulus to the economy.

Many analysts say the Fed's bond-buying program and the resulting low interest rates have been a big driver behind this year's stock rally. The Dow has gained 6.3 percent this year and the S&P 500 5.6 percent, pushing both near record levels. The Dow's record close is 14,164, reaching in October 2007 and the S&P closed as high as 1,565 in the same month.

European stocks also advanced, but gave back much of their early gains. Benchmark indexes rose 0.4 percent in France, 1.5 percent in Germany and 0.8 percent in Spain. Britain's index was up just 0.3 percent after Moody's stripped the country late Friday of its triple-A credit rating.

Among other stocks making big moves:

- Drugmaker Affymax plunged $14.10, or 85 percent, to $2.42 after the company recalled its anemia drug following severe allergic reactions and the deaths of some kidney dialysis patients.

-Mead Johnson fell $3.64, or 4.6 percent, to $75.32 after the company said that a new regulation in Hong Kong could affect the company's sales there as well as in mainland China.

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 27, 2016
  • 1.
    3.0/11
  • 2.
    1.8/6
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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