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Major Averages Close Lower For Second Straight Day

4/4/2012 4:29 PM ET

Stocks saw considerable weakness during trading on Wednesday, extending the downward move seen in the previous session. The sell-off reflected continued disappointment with the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting as well as lingering concerns about the global economy.

Gold stocks turned in some of the market's worst performances on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 4.3 percent. With the loss, the index ended the session at its worst closing level since August of 2010.

A sharp drop by the price of gold contributed to the substantial weakness in the sector, with gold for June delivery plunging $57.90 to $1,614.10 an ounce.

Significant weakness was also visible among electronic storage stocks, with the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index falling by 3.1 percent. Memory chip maker SanDisk (SNDK) helped to lead the sector lower, tumbling by 11.1 percent after lowering its first quarter revenue guidance.

Networking, semiconductor, and software stocks also posted notable losses on the day, reflecting weakness in the technology sector. Financial, steel, and biotech stocks were also under considerable selling pressure amid broad based weakness in the markets.

The major averages ended the session well off their worst levels of the day but still closed firmly in the red. The Dow fell 124.80 points or 1 percent to 13,074.75, the Nasdaq plunged 45.48 points or 1.5 percent to 3,068.09 and the S&P 500 dropped 14.42 points or 1 percent to 1,398.96.

by RTT Staff Writer

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