A broad-based selloff on Wall Street followed another bout of heavy selling overseas Wednesday.
The Dow industrials (^DJI) tumbled 217 points, dropping back below the 15,000 level. It's the third triple-digit loss in six sessions. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) dropped 22 points and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) fell 43.
The selling was across the board, with declining stocks swamping gainers.
In addition to the big market losses in Japan and Europe, there's continued concern about when the Federal Reserve will start to close the spigot on its stimulus program. There's also concern about whether the Fed's bond-buying program is doing enough to revive the economy. The payroll-processing firm ADP (ADP) says private sector job creation last month was pretty weak.
Industrial, retail and financial stocks were big losers.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) fell 1 percent on reports the company will lose more than 800-million on the debt an Alabama county restructures as part of its exit from bankruptcy. Among other financials, Blackrock (BLK) fell 3 percent, Citigroup (C) lost 2 percent, and Wells Fargo (WFC) 1 percent.
U.S. Bancorp (USB) fell nearly 1 percent after federal regulators filed suit, alleging the company failed to protect customer accounts from being raided by the defunct brokerage-firm Peregrine Financial.
In the tech sector, Microsoft (MSFT) edged down as a Deutsche Bank analyst lowered his rating on the stock to "hold." IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) all lost around 2 percent.
And biotechs continue to lose ground. Celgene (CELG) and Gilead Sciences (GILD) dropped 4 percent each; Amgen (AMGN) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) fell more than 2 percent.
General Motors (GM) fell more than 2 percent after the Treasury Department said it would sell 30 million GM shares and a UAW Trust will sell another 20 million shares. The government acquired a majority stake in GM when it bailed the company out in 2008.
Among the few winners: Walgreen (WAG) said a key measure of sales rose more than expected last month. And Mattress Firm (MFRM) shareholders can sleep well. The stock jumped 5 percent on better-than-expected earnings.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
Invest Like a Cicada: 5 Stocks to Buy and Hold Until 2030
Dow Tumbles 216 Points After Big Losses in Overseas Markets
Ford has been making cars through a fair number of cicada emergence cycles, and that's not going to change. Cars will naturally look materially different in 17 years; by then, it wouldn't be a shock to see self-driving cars in widespread use. Ford should continue to have a major role in the industry.
Naturally, there may be trends moving away from automobiles in general. The urbanization trend -- which features people flocking back to metropolitan areas where mass transit makes car ownership less important -- will likely continue. U.S. automakers may also continue to lose market share to overseas rivals.
However, it's hard to bet against Ford. Remember, Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to avoid the government's bailout in 2009, proving its mettle during tough times.
This pick will be controversial given the way that Apple's stock has been beaten down since peaking late last year. But the consumer tech giant is a survivor.
Since the last Brood II invasion we saw the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010. Yes, Steve Jobs is gone, but denying Apple its historical bent to raise the bar in consumer electronics would be a costly mistake. Apple will find a way to innovate its way to growth and margin expansion.
Walmart's size endows it with pricing advantages that it passes on to its customers, giving the discount department store chain and edge that can't be matched. The future may find online retail and digital delivery eating into its share of some product categories. But at the end of the day, you don't bet against Walmart's ability to provide goods at prices that free shoppers to spend more on other things.
Despite remarkable changes in the world, some things have stayed constant from one cicada infestation to the next. Soap is still soap. Toilet paper is still toilet paper. Toothpaste is still toothpaste. And that probably won't change between now and 2030.
Procter & Gamble is home to large pantry of household brands that consumer know all too well. From Crest toothpaste to Bounty paper towels, it's hard to escape Procter & Gamble's reach. Some of its billion-dollar brands -- in other words, products that generate at least a billion dollars in annual sales -- include Pampers baby diapers, Duracell batteries, and Charmin toilet paper.
Its portfolio of products is so diversified that Procter & Gamble can weather the rare innovations that make a particular category obsolete. Along the way, patient investors get rewarded. Procter & Gamble has increased its dividend in each of the past 57 years.
The House of Mouse has been the undisputed champ of family entertainment for decades, but it's not something that Disney has taken for granted. Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC in 1995, a year before the last periodical cicada wave. It was a major purchase, and perhaps more for landing ESPN than ABC.
However, since the last Brood II emergence, the media giant has snapped up Pixar, Marvel, and most recently Lucasfilm to beef up its library of magnetic characters that it can build on through its cable properties, theme parks, and merchandising initiatives.
The way children consume media has evolved dramatically over the years, but digital media has presented new ways for Disney to cash in on the incessant appetite for family-friendly entertainment.
Besides, if there's a movie to be made that transforms cicadas into endearing insects in an animated theatrical release, it would be probably be Disney's handiwork.