Stocks drop on global growth worries

Last Updated Sep 28, 2015 2:20 PM EDT

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks dropped Monday amid ongoing worries about the outlook for global growth. Materials and health care stocks were the biggest decliners. The stock market is on track for its worst quarterly performance in four years.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 50 points, or 2.6 percent, to 1,882 as of 2:20 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 307 points, or 1.9 percent, to 16,008. The Nasdaq composite slumped 155 points, or 3.3 percent, to 4,529.

Alcoa (AA) bucked the downward trend after announcing that it will split into two independent companies. Its bauxite, aluminum and casting operations will be in one company and its engineering and transportation businesses will be in another. The company's stock rose 25 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $9.32.

Glencore plunged after an investment bank warned that the company faced a bleak future if commodity prices don't recover. Investec Securities said in a note to investors that mining companies "gorged themselves on cheap debt" to grow production as Chinese stimulus boosted demand for raw materials in the wake of the global financial crisis.

In the U.S., gold and copper miner Freeport-McMoran was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, dropping 83 cents, or 8.5 percent, to $8.97.

Volkswagen shares were down 8.2 percent as German prosecutors opened an investigation against the company's former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, to establish what his role was in the emissions-rigging scandal. The investigation aims to determine who was responsible for selling vehicles with manipulated emissions data, prosecutors in Germany said in a statement.

In Europe, France's CAC-40 slid 2.6 percent while Germany's DAX fell 1.7 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 2 percent lower.

In government bond trading, prices rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 2.12 percent from 2.16 percent on Friday. The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1160 while the dollar fell 0.3 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude was down 60 cents to $45.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, which is used to price international oils, shed 77 cents to $48.50 a barrel in Londo