Stocks Tumbled at Open on Global Demand Concerns

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Thursday,as concerns about weak global demand outweighed upbeat economic reports. The Dow Jones industrial average lately fell 107.28 points, or 0.66%, to 16,034.46, the S&P 500 lost 13.56 points, or 0.73%, to 1,848.93. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 36.37 points, or 0.86%, to 4,178.95.

The global economy faces its biggest test of confidence since the European sovereign debt crisis as investors fear it’s running out of engines. Japan and the euro area are throwing up fresh signs of weakness by the day and emerging markets such as China are dragging instead of driving growth.

Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped last week to their lowest level in 14 years as employers avoided trimming staff even as global growth weakens. Jobless claims decreased by 23,000 to 264,000 in the week ended Oct. 11, the fewest since April 2000, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

U.S. industrial production posted the biggest gain in nearly two years in September as factory activity quickened and utilities output logged a big-weather related jump. Output at the nation’s mines, factories and utilities increased 1.0 percent after slipping 0.2 percent in August, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) reported its 2014 third quarter financial results this morning and posted net earnings of $2.24 billion, or $4.57 per diluted share, compared to $1.42 billion, or $2.88 per diluted share for the same period last year.

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