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Dow sinks on weaker economic news; Airlines drop on fears Ebola will curtail travel plans

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NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are slumping to a third straight loss as investors fret over poor economic news.

Airline stocks sank over worries that the first diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S. would cause people to curtail their travel plans. American Airlines and Delta each fell 3 percent.

PHOTO: FILE - In this May 11, 2007, file photo, a Wall Street sign is mounted near the flag-draped facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are heading lower in early trading Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, putting the market on course for its third loss in a row. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
FILE - In this May 11, 2007, file photo, a Wall Street sign is mounted near the flag-draped facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are heading lower in early trading Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, putting the market on course for its third loss in a row. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 238 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 16,804 Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 26 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,946. The Nasdaq composite fell 71 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,422.

Bonds and utility stocks rose as investors shifted money into less risky assets.

Utility stocks were the only sector in the S&P 500 index to rise. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.39 percent and prices for the notes rose.

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