New York Report: Wall St hit by mass sell-off

THE NASDAQ suffered its biggest drop in two-and-a-half years yesterday after another sharp sell-off in biotech and momentum names, increasing investor anxiety about a broader pullback.

The S&P 500 also posted its biggest percentage loss since 3 February, while the Nasdaq has dropped seven per cent from its closing high for the year, set on 5 March.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 266.96 points or 1.62 per cent, to end at 16,170.22. The S&P 500 lost 39.09 points or 2.09 per cent, to close at 1,833.09.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 129.794 points or 3.1 per cent to 4,054.106.

Volume was high, with 7.5bn shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges, well above the 6.8bn average so far this month, according to data from Bats Global Markets.

On the Nasdaq, about 6.6 stocks fell for every one that rose.