1st LD: Dow's two-day losing streak totals nearly 1,300 points as fears for economic slowdown continue

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NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks plunged on Thursday, with Dow's two-day losing streak totaling nearly 1,300 points, as fears for economic slowdown continued.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow erased 453.13 points, or 1.81 percent, to 24,573.94. The S&P 500 decreased 45.19 points, or 1.67 percent, to 2654.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 129.93 points, or 1.82 percent, to 7,028.49.

The Cboe Volatility index, widely considered the best fear gauge in the stock market, rose 15.14 percent to 23.88 in early trading on Thursday.

The U.S. three-year Treasury note yield surpassed the five-year note on Monday. The inverted yield curve caught investors' attention because historical statistics showed that when short-term yields trade above longer-term rates a recession could follow.

Anxiety around a potential yield curve inversion sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note and the 30-year Treasury bond to 2.856 percent and 3.132 percent respectively. Bond yields moved inversely to prices.

On the data front, the U.S. trade deficit increased 1.7 percent to 55.5 billion U.S. Dollars in October, hitting a 10-year high, as soybean exports continued to decline and imports of consumer goods increased largely.

The non-manufacturing index rose to 60.7 in November as services sectors continued to expand, according to data released Thursday by the Institute for Supply Management. Enditem

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