US stocks fall on global slowdown fears

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Closed): Wall Street stocks fell on Thursday as investors worried about a stall in global growth and sliding oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 174.09 points, or 0.98%, to 17,541.96.

The S&P 500 fell 24.75 points (1.20%) to 2041.91, while the Nasdaq was down 72.35 points (1.47%) at 4,848.37.

Oil prices slid, with Brent crude dropping $0.25 to $39.59 a barrel and US crude, down $0.33 to $37.42.

Worries about global growth resurfaced after minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting, which were released on Wednesday, flagged up worries over the global economic slowdown.

Fed members feared a slowdown could make it difficult to reach the bank's targets on employment and inflation.

Bank shares were hit hard. Citigroup fell 3.9%, Goldman Sachs dropped 3% and JPMorgan Chase slipped 2.5%.

Valeant shares rose 4% after the drugmaker's lenders granted the company an extra month to file its annual financial report.

Investors have been concerned, Valeant could default on $30bn of debt if it missed the 29 April deadline for filling its annual report. The company already failed to meet the original 15 March deadline.

The drug firm - which is under investigation for its drug pricing methods -said an in-house review of its accounting practices had caused it to miss the March filing date.