Stocks are hit hard for second time in three days

The stock market is getting pounded for the second time in three days as shares of companies including Apple Inc. and Bank of America Corp. fell sharply.

Apple led a big decline in the Nasdaq composite after investors were spooked by a warning from one of its component suppliers, raising fears of future weakness at the technology behemoth. Bank of America slid after its first-quarter profit fell short of analyst estimates.

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As of 9:45 a.m., the Dow Jones industrial average had sunk 179.43, or 1.2%, to 14,577.35. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 28.72 points, or 1.8%, to 1,545.85.

The pain was worst in the tech-laden Nasdaq, which shriveled 75.91 points, or 2.3%, to 3,188.72.

The losses were most pronounced in economically sensitive sectors following a spate of unimpressive economic data in the past week, including disappointing numbers on unemployment and retail sales.

Stocks also fell across Europe amid a stream of bad economic data that have raised fears of an even more prolonged downturn across the continent.

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Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

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