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US stocks plunge in broad-based sell-off

International

New York - US stocks plunged around 2 percent on Friday, sinking for a second straight day on concerns over emerging economies and disappointments in US corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 318.24 (1.96 percent) to 15,879.11.

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The broad-based S&P 500 plummeted 38.17 (2.09 percent) to 1,790.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 90.70

(2.15 percent) to 4,128.17.

Analysts said investors were jittery about steep drops in the Argentine peso and other emerging-market currencies.

Another concern has been a stream of middling corporate middling earnings reports that have suggested big companies foresee weaker demand than expected this year.

“I still believe it's part of a correction and not the beginning of some crisis of some kind,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.

Some experts estimate the stock market is 10-20 percent overvalued after the surge of 2013, Ablin said.

“I was hopeful that fundamentals would pick up,” Ablin said. “But so far earnings season, while reasonable, hasn't been a huge positive surprise.” - Sapa-AFP

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