U.S. stocks closed down Thursday, with indexes logging losses across most sectors as investors reacted badly to a weaker-than-expected reading on manufacturing activity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 660.02 points, or 2.8%, to 22,686.22 and the S&P 500 index slipped 62.14 points, or 2.5%, to 2,447.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 202.43 points, or 3%, to 6,463.50.
European stocks also closed lower as a surprise sales downgrade from Apple jolted markets with the technology sector leading declines. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.6% to 335.16 with France’s CAC 40 and the German DAX 30 both losing 0.8%. The UK’s FTSE 100 index was down by 0.3%, ending at 6,714.13.
Volvo prepares for emissions hit
Swedish auto manufacturer, Volvo, is setting aside 7 billion Swedish Krona ($778 million) to cover costs related to its admission in October that its truck and bus engines could be exceeding limits for nitrogen oxide emissions. The company said it found that an "emissions-control component used in certain markets and models may degrade more quickly than expected, affecting the vehicles’ emission performance negatively."
Volvo said the estimated costs are based on testing of vehicles, statistical analysis and talks with relevant authorities. "The next step will be to define how to implement corrective actions concerning the component in vehicles affected by this issue. This will be done together with the relevant authorities," it added. It is expecting the provision to impact operating income in the fourth quarter of 2018.
German politicians targeted in cyberattack
Hundreds of German politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel have had personal details hacked and published online, reports say. It is unclear who was behind the hack, which emerged on Twitter last month in the style of an advent calendar. Contacts, private chats and financial details were put out on Twitter which belong to figures from every political party except the far-right AfD.
Germany’s federal office for information security (BSI) said it was investigating the hack and said government networks were not affected, as far as it was aware. The national cyber-defence centre convened a meeting on Friday morning. The true extent of damage caused by the leak is not yet known although Justice Minister Katarina Barley said it was a "serious attack".
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