S&P 500 ends at 2022 low as Wall Street sell-off resumes

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday as sell-off resumed on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 458.13 points, or 1.54 percent, to 29,225.61. The S&P 500 decreased 78.57 points, or 2.11 percent, to 3,640.47 in a new closing low for the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 314.13 points, or 2.84 percent, to 10,737.51.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors finished in red, with utilities and consumer discretionary down 4.07 percent and 3.38 percent, respectively, leading the losses.

Apple shares tumbled 4.9 percent on Thursday after Bank of America analysts downgraded the stock to neutral from buy.

On the economic front, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the nation's initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, fell by 16,000 to 193,000 in the week ending Sept. 24. The reading, the lowest level of claims since late April, solidified expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue its rate-hike campaign.

After a period of relentless declines, Wall Street staged a comeback on Wednesday with the Dow closing up more than 500 points.

"We remain skeptical that the calmer mood in markets on Wednesday marks an end to the recent period of elevated volatility or risk-off sentiment," UBS analysts said in a note Thursday.

"For a more sustained rally, investors will need to see convincing evidence that inflation is coming under control, allowing central banks to become less hawkish," they said. "This turn, in our view, is still some time away."

U.S. equities have been battered this year amid fears that the Fed's aggressive policy tightening could throw the economy into a recession.

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