Another factor weighing on companies whose stocks have sunk is what many see as the potential damage from a prolonged US trade war with China, either because of retaliatory tariffs imposed by Beijing or because of weakening Chinese demand.
Stocks are closing sharply lower on Wall Street, led by a swoon in technology companies.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 246 points, or 3.4 percent, to 7,073.
Another torrent of selling gripped Wall Street Wednesday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points and extending a losing streak for the benchmark S&P 500 index to a sixth day.
The French CAC 40 jumped 1.6 percent and Germany's DAX added 1 percent.
Rafale jitters: ‘Alok Verma could meet Judge Loya’s fate, SC must intervene’
Earlier, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Gandhi and other leaders were arrested from the CBI headquarters. The Congress alleged that it was because Verma had begun asking questions about the Rafale deal that he was removed.
While economic growth is mostly healthy, disappointing corporate results and forecasts this earnings season have shown how tariffs, rising wages and borrowing costs as well as jitters over geopolitical events are hurting companies.
Revenue from Amazon's worldwide business, which brings in 27.5 percent of total sales, rose 13.4 percent in the third quarter, missing estimates, and decelerating from a 27 percent year-on-year expansion in the previous quarter.
About 24 per cent of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported third-quarter results as of Wednesday.
The Nasdaq is up 205.01 points, or 3 per cent. Media and communications stocks, health care companies and banks also took heavy losses.
REVENUE MISSES: Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet slumped after both companies reported quarterly reported revenue figures that fell short of analysts' estimates. The Nasdaq has taken bigger losses than other USA indexes in recent weeks. Amazon sank 7.8 percent to $1,642.81 while Alphabet fell 1.8 percent to $1,083.75.
Amazon shares fell by as much as 10 per cent - its worst performance in four years - as its outlook for Christmas sales disappointed investors.
Suspicious Package Found Near Robert De Niro's NYC Restaurant
The bomb squad removed the package at 6:30 a.m. and transported it to the NYPD's bomb disposal facility in the Bronx, New York. The FBI late Wednesday confirmed that two additional packages, similar in appearance to the others , were addressed to Waters.
Shares in iRobot plunged 12.3 percent to $80.49 after the robotics technology company said tariffs will reduce its profitability in the fourth quarter.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.12 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.4%, meaning it had erased all 2018's gains by the close.
Microsoft jumped 4.3 percent and Ford climbed 5.7 percent after releasing encouraging results and forecasts.
The benchmark S&P 500 index in the U.S. slid more than 1.7%, closing down nearly 10% from its September high.
Boeing (+1.3%) offered the Dow some relief Wednesday after posting third-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations. AT&T dropped 6.2 per cent. The company also raised its estimates for the year, citing faster orders for aircraft. Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, rose 0.9 percent to $76.89 a barrel.
As Merkel Prepares to Step Back, Here’s Who Might Replace Her
Ms Merkel said she made the decision before the summer parliamentary recess and had planned the announcement for next week. According to "multiple media reports", Merkel announced her intention to retire as the chief of the CDU.
The dollar weakened to 112.08 yen from 112.23 yen. The euro rose to $1.1408 from $1.1393.
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