Dow drops more than 600 points as U.S. stocks end lower amid economic slowdown fears

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U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Wednesday after fresh economic data showed retail sales fell in December, with investors worried about slowing growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 600 points to end 1.9% lower, while the S&P 500 fell 1.6% and the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.3%, according to preliminary data from FactSet. Sales at retailers in the U.S. slid 1.1% last month, a slightly bigger drop than economists polled by The Wall Street Journal were expecting. In other economic data released Wednesday, the Federal Reserve reported that U.S. industrial production fell 0.7% in December. That was a steeper-than-expected decline and the biggest monthly drop in U.S. industrial production since September 2021.

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