A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - The drop in the stock market yesterday is a sign investors are becoming less confident in the U.S. economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average reached to its lowest level in a month, plunging 217 points to close at 14,960, a drop of 1.4 percent. It's the first close below 15,000 since May 6 and the biggest decline in seven weeks.
Troubling economic data, including weak hiring at private companies, lower than expected U.S. factory orders, sluggish job growth in the service sector and a drop in mortgage applications, combined to spook investors.
Companies like miners, banks and chemical makers, whose fortunes are most closely tied to the prospects for growth, fell the most.
The S&P 500 was down 22 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,608. The index is 3 percent below its record close of 1,669 reached May 21. And the Nasdaq composite dropped nearly 44 points, or 1.3 percent. The index closed at its lowest level in a month.