By Noel Randewich
SANFRANCISCO (Reuters) – As Wall Street steadied on Friday after its worst two-day slide in eight months, the U.S. stock market remained fragile, with nearly three quarters of the S&P 500’s <.SPX> components in correction territory, or worse.
Following Wednesday and Thursday’s 5-percent rout on the S&P 500, the leading benchmark index is down nearly 7 percent from its record high close on Sept 20. Within the index, most stocks are doing much more poorly.
About 380 S&P 500 stocks have fallen 10 percent or more from their 52-week highs, as of midday trading, putting the vast majority of the index squarely within correction territory. Of those, 164 stocks have fallen by 20 percent or more from their highs, establishing them in a bear market, by many investors’ definitions.
(GRAPHIC: S&P 500 stocks slump from 52-week highs – https://reut.rs/2OnEl6M)
While technology stocks have born the brunt of this week’s selling, companies across the 11 major sectors have felt the pain. The stocks that have fallen most from their 52-week highs also include consumer discretionary and staples, health care, financials and industrials.
(GRAPHIC: S&P 500’s bottom performers relative to their 52-week highs – https://reut.rs/2OmrCS9)
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,134 stocks on Thursday hit 52-week lows, with only 23 establishing new highs. That performance was far worse than the worst day of the sell-off in January and February.
On Feb. 6, 713 NYSE-listed stocks closed at 52-week lows and 36 reached new highs. During the selloff between Jan. 26 and Feb. 9, the S&P 500 lost as much as 11. 8 percent. It took until August to recover.
(GRAPHIC: Blood runs on Wall Street – https://reut.rs/2OonRvi)
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Nick Zieminski)