File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
The Nasdaq slumped more than three per cent Wednesday afternoon as Wall Street headed for another dreary day of losses on worries about weakening US earnings growth.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.6 per cent to 7,173.85, near 1935 GMT, on track to close lower for the seventh time in the last 10 sessions. The index is down more than 10 per cent this month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.9 per cent to 24,725.47, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 2.4 per cent to 2,674.61.
The losses followed a mixed day of corporate earnings that analysts fear signal the economy is exiting the "peak" earnings environment helped by US tax cuts were enacted late last year.
Investors have also been unnerved by comments from industrial companies saying trade conflicts have raised material costs.
"Costs are increasing and it's often tariff-related. We also reached a potential peak for earnings," said Nate Thooft, senior managing director at Manulife Mutual Funds.
"Companies that show marginal weakness take a beating."
Technology shares were especially hard hit Wednesday, with Amazon losing 4.1 per cent, Facebook 4.9 per cent, Google-parent Alphabet 4.1 per cent and Netflix 8.7 per cent.
A rare bright spot was Boeing, which advanced 1.7 per cent after raising its full-year profit forecast.
But other large industrial companies in the Dow fell, including Caterpillar and 3M which dropped 5.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively. The two companies also fell sharply on Tuesday following disappointing results.