Stocks Stung by Biggest Selling Blast Since June

BlackRock's Boivin Sees Markets Afraid of Tail Risk

The tech-led plunge in U.S. equities dragging major benchmarks from record highs sent a signal that sellers might have unloaded a lot of shares in a hurry.

As trading started Thursday, the number of NYSE stocks trading on downticks minus those trading on upticks briefly approached 1,500. That’s the highest reading since June 15. Such swings in the so-called TICK measure often raise the prospect of a computer-guided sell program targeting specific stocks or sectors.

The S&P 500 Index fell as much as 0.7 percent. Tech stocks were the worst performers, dropping as much as 1.3 percent, the most among 11 industry groups. The Nasdaq 100 Index sank 1 percent, ending a four-day streak of gains.

Advanced Micro Devices, EBay and KLA-Tencor were among the worst performers, each falling at least 3 percent. The FANG block of stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix) dropped as much as 1.5 percent.

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