February 8, 2016 / 3:48 PM / 3 years ago

CORRECTED-US STOCKS-Wall St down over 2 pct as tech rout deepens, oil drops

(Corrects paragraph 6 to say Chesapeake had tapped existing adviser Kirkland & Ellis to explore restructuring options, not that Kirkland & Ellis had been hired)

* Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google lower

* U.S. crude falls below $30 per barrel

* Chesapeake hit by report it hired restructuring lawyers

* Cognizant fall after weak forecast

* Indexes down: Dow 2.08 pct, S&P 2.13 pct, Nasdaq 2.58 pct

By Abhiram Nandakumar

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Wall Street was deep in the red on Monday, as technology stocks extended a selloff from Friday and U.S. crude oil slipped below $30 per barrel, sending investors scurrying for cover to safe-haven assets.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 2 percent to its lowest since October 2014, weighed down by Microsoft and Facebook, while the Dow Jones industrial average shed more than 300 points.

“Equities are in a ‘go-nowhere-fast’ mode, with a downward bias in the near term,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

“We need oil to stabilize to provide some confidence for investors, partly because to a degree, investors’ stress is high, earnings visibility is low, and market internals continue to weaken,” he said.

U.S. crude oil prices fell 2.6 percent after a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Venezuela failed to reassure investors of measures to bolster prices.

Chesapeake Energy was the latest casualty of lower energy prices, tumbling 35 percent to $2 after sources told Reuters that the beleagured natural gas company had tapped existing adviser Kirkland & Ellis to explore restructuring options.

Demand for crude is considered a barometer for global economic health, and markets across the world have tracked the rise and fall in the price of the commodity this year.

At 10:28 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was down 337.01 points, or 2.08 percent, at 15,867.96.

The S&P 500 was down 39.97 points, or 2.13 percent, at 1,840.08.

The Nasdaq Composite index was down 112.53 points, or 2.58 percent, at 4,250.61.

Gold prices rose to their highest since June and the yield on 30-year U.S. treasuries hit their lowest since April.

All 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the 2.8 percent fall in energy stocks leading the decliners.

Microsoft’s 3.1 percent decline to $48.61 also dragged down the S&P 500. Facebook and Amazon were off about 3 percent, while Alphabet dropped 1.6 percent.

Dismal sales outlooks from marquee technology names Tableau Software had sent shares in the enterprise sector crashing on Friday on fears that IT managers were curbing spending.

IT services provider Cognizant on Monday added to those worries. Cognizant dropped 6 percent to $55 after it forecast its slowest revenue growth in 14 years.

Tableau, which almost halved in value on Friday, was down 4.8 percent at $39.35.

Twitter shed 5.4 percent to hit a new record low of $14.87 after reports over the weekend that the company was planning to change how it display tweets.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,656 to 301. On the Nasdaq, 2,195 issues fell and 347 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 5 new 52-week highs and 67 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 2 new highs and 331 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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