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Dow plunges by more than 600 points in massive market sell-off

The morning's tech sector rout spread rapidly to other sectors as global trade fears combined with a stronger dollar to unsettle investors.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 12, 2018.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 12, 2018.Justin Lane / EPA

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank by more than 600 points Monday, dragged down by a tumble in Apple and Amazon shares, mounting geopolitical concerns, and a strengthening dollar.

The S&P also stumbled, falling by 2 percent after shares in Goldman Sachs sank by more than 7 percent amid reports that Malaysia is seeking a multimillion-dollar refund from the investment firm for its role in the country’s 1MDB state fund money-laundering scandal.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 2.8 percent.

Apple had pulled down tech stocks early Monday after Lumentum, a key supplier to the Cupertino-based giant, said it was cutting its outlook for the second quarter of 2019 based on lower forecast production volume for one of its major clients.

Tobacco stocks also had a bad day, tumbling double digits on news that the Food and Drug Administration is mulling a ban on menthol cigarettes.

By mid-afternoon, the retreat from tech stocks had spread to the energy sector. Also driving the market were comments from the Saudi Arabian energy minister on cutting oil production by 1 million barrels a day, ahead of the Dec. 6 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The oil cartel is mulling a broad reduction of member output, after crude oil tanked just over a month after it hit a four-year high.

“The price of oil has re-entered into a bear market, suggesting that demand from the global economy has weakened as the trade war hits the global economy,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital.

Investors are also digesting the impact of a stronger dollar, which makes American goods more expensive for foreign companies.

Bond markets were closed Monday in observance of Veterans Day.