How major U.S. stock indexes fared Tuesday

Markets Right Now Another steep drop pulls Dow down 500

The Dow plummeted 507.53 points or 2.1 percent to 23,592.98, the Nasdaq tumbled 156.93 points or 2.3 percent to 6,753.73 and the S&P 500 plunged 54.01 points or 2.1 percent to 2,545.94.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 dripped 0.3 percent and the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.6 percent.

The sharply lower close on Wall Street came amid lingering concerns about global economic growth as well as continued uncertainty about trade between the US and China. The rate helps set borrowing costs for various types of loans, and higher rates can slow economic growth and make stocks look relatively less attractive.

The next two or three weeks are historically a happy time for shareholders - dubbed the Santa Claus Rally - as traders finish out one year and reach for optimism to start the next.

MarketWatch columnist Philip van Doorn says more than half of the S&P 500's constituents are in bear market, widely defined as a 20% drop from a recent apex. Analysts described the moves on Wall Street as a panic by retail investors.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.6 percent to $49.88 a barrel in NY.

Steep drops in equity markets over the last two months have sapped investor confidence, spurring fund managers to predict global growth to weaken over the next 12 months, the worst outlook in a decade, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's December investor survey showed. "The hiatus on trade helps as well, but I'm a bit more skeptical about how long lasting that is", Ronald Temple, head of USA equity at Lazard Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV.The Fed is likely to hike rates on Wednesday, even as President Donald Trump intensifies his attacks on the central bank.

Wall erupts for 40 in Wizards' blowout of Lakers
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Markets are bracing themselves for another tough day ahead, with bad news leading in and nervousness about a Federal Reserve rate-setting meeting ahead.

In small caps, the Russell 2000 closed at 1,381.28 for a gain of 3.14 points or 0.23%.

The Nasdaq rose 46 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,800. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 34 cents to $56.60 a barrel.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.8354 percent, from 2.857 percent late on Monday.

Shares of Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc, collectively known as FAANG, gained between 1.3 percent and 3.1 percent.

JAPANESE TRADE: On Wednesday, Japan reported that its trade balance in November was a deficit of 737.3 billion yen, from 450.1 billion yen in the previous month. The euro rose to $1.1373 from $1.1350, and the British pound rose to $1.2646 from $1.2629.

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