US stocks tumbled in a broad sell-off yesterday, sending the benchmark S&P 500 lower for a fourth straight day, after weak data on new home sales heightened concerns about the pace of the economic recovery.<br /><br />Financials, technology, materials and industrial sectors, which underpinned the market’s advance from March, bore the brunt of the slide as investors reassessed their bets.<br /><br />The Nasdaq also logged its fourth straight daily drop. Yesterday’s sell-off marked the broader market's worst day of losses in nearly a month.<br /><br />The S&P 500 is now up 54.1 per cent from the 12-year closing low of 9 March. At last night’s close, it showed a drop of 5.04 per cent from its post-March closing peak reached a week ago on 19 October.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 119.48 points, or 1.21 per cent, to 9,762.69 – its third triple-digit drop in four days. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 20.78 points, or 1.95 per cent, to 1,042.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 56.48 points, or 2.67 per cent, to 2,059.61.<br /><br />During the session, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq broke below key technical levels as the sell-off accelerated. Both indexes closed below their 50-day moving average for the first time since July, a bearish technical signal.<br /><br />Additionally, the S&P 500 wiped out its gains for October and is now on the verge of snapping a string of seven months of gains.<br /><br />The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s favourite fear gauge, ended up 12.5 per cent, its biggest one-day percentage gain since August.<br /><br />Among financials, <strong>JPMorgan</strong> shares fell 2.8 per cent to $42.68, <strong>American Express</strong> dropped 3.6 percent to $34.67, and the S&P financial index shed 3.2 per cent.<br /><br />On the technology front, <strong>Apple</strong> slid 2.5 per cent to $192.40 made the iPod maker the Nasdaq’s top drag.<br /><br />The Dow Jones US home construction index fell 5.5 per cent – its worst one-day percentage slide since May. The S&P materials index dropped 3.2 per cent.<br /><br />Among shares of natural resource companies, aluminum company <strong>Alcoa</strong> tumbled nearly 7 per cent to $11.93, while heavy-duty maker <strong>Caterpillar</strong>, fell 4 per cent to $54.43.