Trading in New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks on Tuesday were exhibiting panic-like-selling behavior as stocks faced selling pressure attributed to the emergence of the omicron variant and commments from the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about the pace of tapering. The NYSE Arms Index, a volume-weighted breadth measure that tracks the ratio of advancing stock to declining stocks over the ratio of advancing volume over declining volume, was showing a reading of 2.517 for NYSE-listed shares. Many technicians say a rise to at least 2.000 suggests panic-like selling behavior. Losses for U.S. stocks deepened late-morning Tuesday after Powell told Senate lawmakers it would be appropriate for central-bank policy makers to consider speeding up the wind-down of the central bank’s monthly asset purchases when the meet next month. Stock benchmarks were already under renewed pressure after Moderna Inc.’s chief executive officer predicted that current vaccines would be less effective against the new omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 600 points, or 1.7%, at 34,525, the S&P 500 index was down 1.7% at 4,576, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.9% at 15,491.
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