Dow futures point to gains at the open after strong Boeing earnings

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But the energy sector's weak run continued despite oil prices improving slightly overnight.

The Nasdaq closed down 12.4 percent from its August 29 record closing high, falling 4.4 percent for the day in its biggest one-day percentage decline since August 18, 2011.

US stock index futures indicated a mixed start to the trading day amid a slew of corporate earnings reports. However, sentiment was dented after-market when big names Alphabet Inc and Inc reported disappointing numbers. It appeals to the notion that Wall Street indices are beginning to converge with the rest of the world and being dragged into the bear market realm occupied by equities across the Asian and European regions. A correction in markets is necessary and intrinsic to their function, as misallocated capital attempts to find a new home.

Compare that to previous year, when drops of that magnitude happened only twice.

Cleveland Federal Reserve president Loretta Mester said the sharemarket "movements of late do not seem to be signalling that investors are becoming overly pessimistic" and that stocks were far from a scenario that would "dash confidence and lead to a significant pull-back in risk-taking and spending".

Several big companies were falling Wednesday after reporting disappointing quarterly results. It hurts for those who bought-in at the highs, but it opens opportunities for value-investors to take control of the price, and drive stocks higher on that basis in the long term, instead.

This evolving dynamic is being demonstrated more acutely than anywhere else in the action in the NASDAQ. The activity on financial markets is not yet deserving of panic; instead, it remains an opportunity for re-evaluation amidst changing circumstances.

Growth is expected to slow further in the fourth quarter, as the effects of U.S. tax cuts fade and the impact of tariffs and rising costs rise. It was last a shade higher at $1.2892.

The weaker outlook for 2019 delivered by USA business has cast doubt in the minds of investors whether this will prove so, and this precipitated an aggressive rotation in markets.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 91 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 15 new highs and 445 new lows. Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were lower in a range of 2% to 4%.

CURRENCY: Australian Dollar was declined against greenback and other major currencies on Thursday, as a rout on Wall Street and weak European and United States economic data dented global risk sentiment, sending investors scurrying to safe-haven assets including government bonds. The U. K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3%, and the German DAX Index slid by 0.7%.

5-year yield: USA 2.96% Australia 2.17%.