NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks had their worst one-day drop since February as traders worried about weak corporate earnings and the looming end of economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve.<br />
The drop interrupted a prolonged advance in the market and erased its gains for July. It was only the second monthly loss for stocks this year, after January.<br />
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 317 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 16,563 Thursday.<br />
The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 39 points, or 2 percent, to 1,930. The Nasdaq composite dropped 93 points, or 2.1 percent, to 4,369.<br />
The S&P 500 closed at a record high just one week ago.<br />
Whole Foods Market, Yum Brands and Exxon Mobil were among companies that fell after reporting results or forecasts that disappointed investors.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
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