U.S. stocks rallied in the morning as stocks were boosted by positive economic data showed retail sales for February rose 0.3% on the month, slightly topping expectations. Excluding autos, sales grew 0.3%, also beating expectations. Initial claims for jobless benefits in the latest week fell by 9,000, more than expected, to 315,000.
Later in the evening U.S. stocks erased morning gains as uncertainty spread in the market as Russian-Ukraine tension grew, investors grew discouraged and started to sell-off.
Figures overnight showed Chinese industrial output in January-February rose 8.6% from a year earlier but was down from 9.7% in December. Retail sales for the same period were also higher, but failed to meet expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 230 points, or 1.4%, to 16,110.08, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.2% to 1,846.35. The Nasdaq slumped 1.5% to 4,260.42.
Gold rose for a fourth day on Thursday, hovering around six-month high, around $1374.05 an ounce up +.30%