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Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, April 17, 2013. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, April 17, 2013. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

The close: Stocks slammed again as volatility continues Add to ...

Stocks fell on Wednesday, resuming a selloff that had hammered major indexes on Monday, following disappointing earnings and market turbulence in Europe.

The S&P 500 closed at 1552.01, down 22.56 points or 1.4 per cent. The move erased most of Tuesday’s rebound. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,618.59, down 138.19 points or 0.9 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 11,947.29, down 172.63 points or 1.4 per cent.

The moves followed a disappointing quarterly earnings report from Bank of America Corp. The financial firm reported earnings of $2.6-billion (U.S.) or 20 cents a share in the first quarter, but disappointing mortgage banking and trading meant that earnings missed expectations of 22 cents a share.

Bank of America’s share price slid 4.7 per cent and dragged down other financial stocks. JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 3.5 per cent and Citigroup Inc. fell 2 per cent.

Apple Inc. fell 5.5 per cent, hitting a new 52-week low and briefly dipping below the $400 threshold, after reports that a supplier of audio chips for the iPhone and iPad saw a glut of inventory, suggesting slower sales during the current quarter. Apple’s share price decline means that it is no longer the world’s largest company; that honour was restored to Exxon Mobil Corp.

Commodities were also weak. Crude oil fell to $86.72 a barrel, down $2. Gold fell to $1370.20 an ounce, down $16.60. Among Canadian commodity producers, Barrick Gold Corp. fell 5.6 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. fell 1.5 per cent.

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