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Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Small U.S. companies dropped, sending the Russell 2000 Index to its first bear market decline of 20 percent since 2002, after falling home construction and manufacturing reinforced expectations the economy will contract.
The Russell 2000, whose members have a median market value of $510 million, declined 2.8 percent to 680.57, more than 20 percent below its July 13 record. That meet's the common definition of a bear market, the first for the benchmark since October 2002. The Standard & Poor's SmallCap 600 lost 2.6 percent to 353.37. The S&P 500 declined 2.9 percent to 1,333.25.