Stocks drop; Biotech takes another plunge

Stocks drop as investors dump biotech and other former favorites; Nasdaq sinks 3.1 percent

Associated Press
Stocks drop; Biotech takes another plunge
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Trader Ronald Madarasz, left, and specialist Donald Civitanova work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, April 10, 2014. U.S. stock indexes are slipping lower in early trading Thursday as investors pick over a mixed batch of corporate earnings reports. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Nasdaq had its worst day since 2011 as investors dumped biotechnology shares and other industries that have soared over the past year.

Biogen Idec, Gilead Sciences and other biotech companies plunged. After a huge run-up, those stocks have become volatile in recent weeks amid scrutiny over the cost of their drugs.

Facebook and Twitter, other recent investor favorites, also dropped.

The Nasdaq composite index lost 129 points, or 3.1 percent, to close 4,054, its biggest drop since November 2011.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 266 points, 1.6 percent, to 16,170.

The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 39 points, or 2.1 percent, to 1,833. Ninety-six percent of the stocks in the index fell.

Small-company stocks also slid as investors sold riskier assets.

Bond prices rose as investors sought safety.

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