U.S. stocks tumbled on ongoing Ukraine concerns

U.S. stocks tumbled on Thursday as concerns over Ukraine and Russia continue and new signs of a slowdown in China.

Reports that Russia is conducting new military exercises in the Crimea region of Ukraine resulted in increased demand for safe-haven asset classes, USD and Japanese Yen particularly.

Chinese industrial production increased only 8.6% in the first two months of 2014, according to data released on Thursday, below market expectations for a 9.5% increase.

Chinese retail sales increased only by 11.8%, below market forecasts for a 13.5% gain.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 231.19 points or 1.41%, to 16,108.89, the S&P 500 dropped 21.86 points or 1.17%, to 1,846.34 and the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 62.912 points or 1.46%, to 4,260.42.

The CBOE Volatility index rallied more than 12% to 16.22.

Among top Dow Jones Industrial Average performers were Procter & Gamble, down 0.06%, AT&T, down 0.11%, and Nike, down 0.54%.

Among the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst performers were Pfizer, down 2.70%, United Technologies, down 2.52%, and Visa, down 2.40%.

At the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 1.35%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 1.29%, while Germany’s DAX 30 dropped 1.86%. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 dropped 1.01%.

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