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US stocks tumble

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US stocks have fallen sharply in highly volatile trade, with the Dow posting its first three-day losing streak this year amid worries about central banks’ stimulus plans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 126.79 (0.84 per cent) at 14,995.23.

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 13.61 (0.84 per cent) to 1612.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 36.52 (1.06 per cent) at 3400.43.

Wall Street stocks attempted to rally from Tuesday’s sell-off in opening trade but quickly lost steam.

“Volatility is persisting, especially in the currency and bond markets, due to uncertainty regarding the continuation of global central bank stimulus efforts,” Charles Schwab & Co said in a note.

Financials were under pressure. On the Dow, American Express was the biggest decliner, plunging 2.4 per cent, while Bank of America fell 0.5 per cent and JPMorgan Chase lost 0.6 per cent. Citigroup dropped 1.0 per cent.

Yum! Brands slipped 0.1 per cent after reporting May same-store sales plummeted 19 per cent in China as concerns about avian flu hammered Kentucky Fried Chicken sales.

Hewlett-Packard was the biggest of the rare Dow gainers, up 2.8 per cent after chief executive Meg Whitman gave a positive interview to CNBC.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.23 per cent from 2.20 per cent late Tuesday, while the 30-year jumped to 3.38 per cent from 3.33 per cent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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