Dealbook – The stock market ended July with the sharpest decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index since April, while the Dow Jones industrial index fell more than 300 points, enough to eliminate all of its gains for the year.
The reasons for the losses on Thursday were not entirely clear. Disappointing earnings reports by a few major companies, Argentina’s apparent default on its debt and fears about the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East may all have been part of it. And relatively strong economic reports in the United States this week may have caused concern among traders that the Federal Reserve might tighten its expansive monetary policy.
But whatever the causes of the decline, it wasn’t entirely unexpected, and the reaction of several strategists was fairly upbeat.