The stock market is beginning 2014 on a down note, falling nearly 150 points on Thursday. Stocks also were down across Europe.

The stock market is beginning 2014 on a down note, falling nearly 150 points on Thursday. Stocks also were down across Europe. (Richard Drew / AP / October 9, 2013)

The stock market is not starting 2014 where it left off in 2013.

Stocks got hit hard early Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling nearly 150 points. If the market ends Thursday with a loss, it would have only 364 days to turn itself around.

As of 11:20 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 148.40 points, or 0.9%, at 16,428.26.

The market often starts a new year on an up note. But considering the superb gains in 2013, it wouldn’t be surprising if investors are a bit cautious as 2014 gets underway.

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The Dow surged 27% last year, its best showing since 1995. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 29.6%. Including dividends, the S&P rose 32.4%.

Markets were down across Europe even though a report on manufacturing activity came in as expected. Investors may have been spooked by separate data showing slowing manufacturing activity in China.

Bond yields fell, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note declining below 3%. It recently traded at 2.98%.

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