Wall Street tumbles as investors take the knife to tech companies

The S&P 500 closed at 2,785.68, down 94.66 points or 3.3 percent.

USA stocks are plunging toward their worst loss in six months on Wednesday as technology companies continue to take sharp losses. Eastern time. It's on track for its fifth straight drop, which hasn't happened since right before the 2016 presidential election. The stock fell 34 percent to 38 cents in morning trading.

"The stock market in the USA has started to take notice, and will continue to, particularly if the speed at which rates rise becomes alarming", Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of Doubleline Capital, told Reuters last week.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 4.1% to 7,422 points, its biggest loss since February 8. These sectors had been some of the top performers over the a year ago, almost doubling the performance of the S&P 500.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.15 percent, the S&P 500 lost 3.29 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.08 percent. The Dow fell 831 points, or 3.1%, to 25,598. Chip gear producers Applied Materials, Teradyne and ASML Holdings fell between 3.5 percent and 4.6 percent.

Major equity indexes in Europe fell more than 1.0 percent, also pulled down by technology shares, and gold prices inched up as some investors sought refuge in the metal.

MARKETS ABROAD: Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent, South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.1 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.1 percent.

USA markets mirrored risk-off sentiment around the globe, with European stocks having also ended sharply lower.

Rising interest rates by the Federal Reserve drove US Treasury yields to 7-year highs, while Hurricane Michael's landfall in Florida stoked fears of impact on energy companies, according to market analysts.

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Apple gave up 4.6 percent to $216.36 and Microsoft dropped 5.4 percent to $106.16.

Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management said investors were unnerved by remarks from luxury company LVMH of a crackdown on some goods in China amid the country's bitter dispute with the US. As bond yields rise, risk-averse investors-ranging from the proverbial cautious retiree to enormous pension funds-become more willing to park more money in bonds and collect the interest.

But it was the rout across the Atlantic that proved even more eye-catching with the rise in US Treasury bond yields to seven-year highs seen as a key factor.

It followed a bleak session in Europe, where Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 had each ended the day more than 2% lower.

Technology and internet-based companies are known for their high profit margins, and many have reported explosive growth in recent years, with corresponding gains in their stock prices.

The Nasdaq fell 177 points, or 2.3 percent, to 7,560. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 2.2 per cent to $83.09 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar held steady at 113.05 Japanese yen.

The euro and sterling rose, underpinned by optimism for a Brexit deal, while the US dollar lost ground against a basket of currencies even as USA yields hovered near multiyear peaks.

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