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Stock Market Today: Dow Turns Negative for the Year as Earnings Gloom Sets In


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock markets plummeted on volatile trading Thursday as mixed earnings reports, concerns about the health of the European economy and financial sector and the wait for Friday's big nonfarm payrolls report rocked the global markets.

Amid the commotion, the bio-therapeutic drugs group was sparkling as Amarin flew 13.21%. The late-stage biopharmaceutical firm garnered a bullish report from TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein, who says that Amarin is expected to hear soon on an appeal to a top official at the FDA requesting a reversal of the agency's revocation of the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) covering the phase III "ANCHOR" study of its prescription fish-oil pill Vascepa.

All the benchmark indices were down more than 1%, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 1.88% to 16,563.30, the S&P 500 tumbling 2% to 1,930.67, and the Nasdaq surrendering 2.09% to 4,369.77. The VIX "fear gauge" was spiking more than 27% to 16.98.

All the indices finished negative for the month, with the Dow in the red for the year.

Read More: European Stocks Sag on Banco Espirito Santo Fears, Deflation Worries

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan says that a big, much-awaited pullback is coming after numerous false starts. Greenspan told Bloomberg Television's Betty Liu on Wednesday that equity markets will see a decline at some point, after surging for the past several years.

"The stock market has recovered so sharply for so long, you have to assume somewhere along the line we will get a significant correction," said Greenspan.

Birinyi & Associates' founder and president Laszlo Birinyi says not to get too excited about bearish warnings on days such as these, demonstrating in this chart that there have been too many cases where gloomy bottom-line forecasts have been usurped by strong stock market performance:

Oil major ExxonMobil gave up 4.17% to $98.94 after its better-than-expected second-quarter earnings were tainted by a 5.7% drop in oil-equivalent production. Whole Foods was another loser, with shares falling 2.25% to $38.23 after the Austin, Texas-based grocer reported disappointing quarterly same-store sales numbers and lowered its sales outlook yet again. Time Warner Cable shed 4.17% to $145.10 after falling short of Wall Street targets with earnings of $1.89 a share on revenue of $5.73 billion. BorgWarner shares were down 3.49% to $62.25 after the automotive systems and components supplier announced a full year earnings forecast between $3.25 to $3.35 per share that fell short of analysts' expectations of $3.36 per diluted share.

Tesla shares were up 1.21% to $226.45 in post-session trading after the electric carmaker beat second-quarter earnings forecasts by 7 cents at 11 cents per share.

Yum! Brands was losing 5.21% to $69.20 after the restaurant operator said the scare over improper food handling practices by supplier Shanghai Husi resulted in a "significant, negative impact" to both KFC and Pizza Hut's same-store sales in China.