NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were down more than 1 percent in late afternoon trading on Wednesday as the first diagnosis of Ebola in a patient in the United States spooked investors and pressured shares of airlines and other transportation names.
Small-cap stocks were down sharply for a second session, with the Russell 2000 on track to close 10 percent below its recent closing high, a level that would put the index in correction territory. The index was down 1.3 percent on the day.
The NYSE ARCA Airline index was down 2.6 percent, with Southwest Airlines down 3.5 percent and Delta Air Lines off 3.1 percent. The Dow Jones transportation average was down 2.4 percent.
The day’s losses were broad, with nine of the 10 primary S&P 500 sectors trading lower. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,161 to 863, for a 2.50-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,064 issues were lower and 576 higher for a 3.58-to-1 ratio.
The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, was up 5.6 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average was falling 219.57 points, or 1.29 percent, to 16,823.33, the S&P 500 was losing 23.54 points, or 1.19 percent, to 1,948.75 and the Nasdaq Composite was dropping 68.83 points, or 1.53 percent, to 4,424.56.
The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Acuity Brands rising 10.94 percent, while the largest percentage decliner was Centrus Energy, down 25.56 percent.
Declining issues were outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,259 to 797, for a 2.83-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 2,081 issues were falling and 597 advancing for a 3.49-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting three new 52-week highs and 22 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 12 new highs and 228 new lows. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)