September 04, 2008

Stocks drop sharply on economic, financial woes

Remember about the OCTOBER SURPRISE ??

I think it's about money; a global fiscal CRASH !!!

Military KeynesianISM got the US into a financial mess.

No the fruits of idiocy are showing.

For the pains of making genocide,

the whole financial picture is bearing bitter fruits.

The plunge "protection" team sure did a good job, eh?


Stocks drop sharply on economic, financial woes

Dow off 300 points on global growth worries; crude prices slide further
By Kate Gibson & Nick Godt, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks came under stiff selling pressure Thursday, with rising jobless claims, mixed retail sales and weaker oil prices fueling concerns about slowing economic growth both at home and abroad, while fears about ailing financial companies remained firmly in place.

"There's basically not much good news at the moment," said Ken Tower, vice president at Quantitative Analysis Service.

"The main concern is about growth and that there is a global slowdown now in the offing," he said. "The idea from 10 months ago that there was some sort of decoupling [between the U.S. and other economies] has fallen flat on its face."

Overseas, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged, as they signaled rising concerns about weakening economic growth.
Meanwhile, crude-oil futures continued to slide, a sign that some analysts say also reflects concerns about slowing global growth.

More at this link ..

11,216.16, -316.72, -2.7%) fell 316 points to 11,216, with 28 of its 30 components in the red.
Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (CAT:

64.05, -3.68, -5.4%)
fell the most among blue chips, off 6%, falling in tandem with fellow farm and machinery equipment maker Terex (TEX:

37.93, -9.39, -19.8%) , which
issued a profit warning, citing slower business.
Among other Dow components, shares of Wal-Mart Inc. (WMT:

60.10, +0.31,
+0.5%) bucked the trend, rising 1%. The giant discounter's monthly sales topped projections, and management also offered an upbeat forecast for the current month.
But while "news on the retail front was mixed-to-firmer, led by a rise in Wal-Mart same-store sales for August [...] others were not quite so fortunate," said Action Economic analysts. Read full story on retailers.
And fresh data fueled concerns about the state of the economy ahead of Friday's key August jobs report.
The Labor Department said jobless claims rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 444,000, up 15,000 from the previous week. It marked a shift after three weeks of declines, surprising analysts who expected a slight drop. See Economic Report.
Separately, the ADP employment index had private-sector employment dropping 33,000 in August, suggesting nonfarm payrolls fell about 13,000 in August, according to media reports. Read more.
Financials stocks weakened, led by shares of Lehman Bros. Holdings (LEH:

15.23, -1.71, -10.1%) and Merrill Lynch (MER:

26.50, -1.83, -6.5%) , which
were hurt by reports they may be having some trouble clearing up their balance sheets.
Separately, Lehman analysts cut their earnings estimate on American Express (AXP:

38.83, -2.08, -5.1%) , with shares of the blue chip slipping 5.6%.
The S&P 500 ($SPX:

1,240.86, -34.12, -2.7%) shed 34 points to 1,241, while
the Nasdaq Composite (COMP:

2,267.39, -66.34, -2.8%) lost 65 points, or
2.8% to 2,268.
By sector, industrials and materials were leading the way lower, both falling more than 4%.
No more love for multinationals
"There's a big shift between what's working in the market and what's not," said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of U.S. equities at Deutsche Bank.
"That last group that had held up so well -- multinational industrials and materials are -- now leading the way down," he said. "But in an environment where economies are slowing, you need to see every sector roll."
Stocks briefly came off lows after news that activity in the nonmanufacturing sectors of the U.S. economy expanded slightly in August, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM nonmanufacturing index rose to 50.6% in August from 49.5% in July.
In a separate and more upbeat report, the government said the productivity of U.S. nonfarm businesses was revised higher in the second quarter than previously estimated, climbing at a 4.3% annual rate in the quarter, up from 2.2% in the earlier estimate. See details.
"The market is really just paying close attention to the fundamentals of the economy, not speeches by Fed officials. Traders pretty much know the Fed is on hold right now and would rather focus on the economic numbers when making purchase and sale decisions," said Kevin Giddis, managing director at Morgan Keegan & Co.
On Wednesday, stock indexes closed mixed, with the Dow industrials striking its first gain in three sessions, rising 15.96 points to close at 11,532.88, leaving it down 13.06% year-to-date.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.
Nick Godt is a MarketWatch reporter based in New York.

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