Malaysian Plane Crash in Ukraine Hits Stocks

U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday as selling took hold after a Malaysia Airlines jet crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 161.39 points, or 0.94%, to 16,976.81. The S&P 500 was down 23.45 points, or 1.18%, to 1,958.12. The Nasdaq Composite fell 62.52 points, or 1.41%, to 4,363.45.

A Malaysian Airline jet en route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Amsterdam, Netherlands crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border with almost 300 passengers aboard, according to media reports Thursday.

Morgan Stanley posted wealth management results for the second quarter just a hair’s breadth short of a key profitability target it set for the end of 2015. The bank posted pretax profit of $767 million in its wealth division in the second quarter, 38.6 percent of its total profit and the highest since Morgan Stanley began a retail brokerage joint venture with Smith Barney five years ago.

Natural-gas futures on Thursday settled at their lowest since late November, rocked by a larger-than-expected increase in supplies. August natural-gas futures NGQ14 -3.79% fell 17 cents, or 4%, to settle at $3.9540 per million British thermal units.

The nation’s largest health insurer expects to play a much bigger role in the health care overhaul next year, as the federal law shifts from raising giant questions for the sector to offering growth opportunities.

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