U.S. markets opened in a steep slide on one of the busiest earnings days of the year as a global sell-off and a disappointing report by 3M — a major industrial company that is a window into the U.S. economy — had nervous investors fleeing stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 500 points, or 2 percent, in morning trading Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 2.2 percent, its fourth decline in as many days. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, which has been whacked in recent weeks from the sell-off in the so-called FAANG shares — Facebook, Amazon.com, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google, Alphabet — was off 2.6 percent.
All three slipped to three-month lows.
“Politics and earnings,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of U.S. Equity Strategy at CFRA. “Both 3M and Caterpillar appear to be spinning their wheels and showing the true effects of global tensions.”