Wall Street Tumbles At Open As Weak Industrials Add To Dour Mood

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U.S. stocks tumbled overnight, confirming a correction for the Nasdaq and erasing the Dow and S&P 500's gains for the year.

Aurora Cannabis Inc., which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange, was down US$1.38 cents at US$7.31 on the USA market. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index.HSI sank 2.2 percent.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 396.17 points at 24,921.24.

Australian shares are set to start off the last day of the trading week higher.

Technology companies, health care and energy stocks also accounted for much of the slide on Wall Street, which followed a steep sell-off in Chinese and other global markets.

Rakuten Securities Australia's chief operating officer Nick Twidale says the market has well and truly entered a correction stage but says the indices will get worse before they get better.

The Cboe Volatility Index .VIX , the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term gyrations for the S&P 500, jumped 4.52 points to close at 25.23, its highest close since February 12.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.9 per cent or 74.01 points to close at 8568.23.

Chipmakers Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics warned of slowing demand.

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"The sentiment and the outlook seems to be turning more negative, or at the very least, less rosy".

Underscoring the surge in risk aversion, the Australian dollar dropped US0.4¢ to US70.30¢, within a whisker of its 32-month lows, having held steady throughout yesterday's 2.8 per cent stock bloodbath.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 3.12 percent from 3.16 percent late Tuesday.

The FAANG stocks, some of the highest fliers in the market since the beginning of 2017, were punished especially hard on Wednesday on no major market-moving news in the space, as Netflix (NFLX) shares fell 9.4%, Facebook (FB) stock fell 5% to approach a new 52-week low, while Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) shares lost more than 5% ahead of those companies' reports expected after the market close on Thursday. "Could Asian markets really withstand four rate hikes in US next year?" All but three of its biggest companies are down this month, with last year's favorites Tencent Holdings Ltd., Sunny Optical Technology Group Co. and AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. losing more than 16 percent. Alphabet also just reported its Q3 2018 results, with earnings of $33.74 billion - up 21 per cent from the same quarter past year but not beating expectations.

Brent crude was last at US$76 a barrel, while USA crude was at US$66.63.

Traders bid up shares in McDonald's after the fast-food chain reported third-quarter results that topped analysts' forecasts.

The dollar weakened to 112.19 yen from 112.82 yen on Monday.

The results offered hope to Wall Street, battered this week by a series of sluggish outlooks from manufacturers and chipmakers anxious about the impact of tariffs, a slowdown in China on profits and global growth.