U.S. markets fell further today to continue its descent from late last week. The Standard & Poorâ??s 500 Index slipped 0.5 percent Monday to 1,781.56 after tumbling 2.6 percent last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 41.23 points today, or 0.3 percent, to 15,837.88. Both indices closed at the lowest levels since mid-December. About 8 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, roughly 30 percent more than the three-month average. The S&P 500 last week sank the most since June 2012 as a sell-off in developing-nation currencies spurred volatiliy in global markets. The dip drove the index below its average price in the past 50 days for the first time since October. The S&P 500 today extended its 2014 retreat to 3.6 percent. The Dow is down 4.5 percent for the year. Visa Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slumped more than 1.7 percent, leading declines among large companies. Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. paced losses in technology stocks. However, Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) jumped 5.9 percent after announcing a stock buyback and forecasting earnings above analystsâ?? estimates.
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