A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - Signs of a slowing economy are proving to be a drag on the stock market. Even the prospect of continued stimulus from the Federal Reserve isn't helping.
Major market indexes fell by 0.9 percent, their worst decline in two weeks. Small-company stocks fell even more, 2.5 percent, as investors shunned risk. The yield on the benchmark U.S. government bond fell to its lowest of the year as investors sought safety.
Stocks opened lower and kept sagging throughout the day, hurt by reports of a slowdown in hiring and manufacturing last month. Discouraging earnings news from major U.S. companies also dragged the market lower.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down nearly 139 points to 14,701.
The S&P 500, a broader market measure, dropped nearly 15 points to 1,583.
The Nasdaq composite index dropped 29 ½ points to 3,299. The Russell 2000 index, a gauge of small-company stocks, fell 23 points to 924.