US stocks tumble on poor earnings worries

The S&P 500 index fell 2.26 per cent and Nasdaq composite index fell 32.80,or 2.09 per cent.

Written by Associated Press | New York | Published: January 13, 2009 9:15 am

Wall Street extended last week’s slide as investors worried that the quarterly results companies begin releasing this week will signal the economy is in worse shape than feared.

According to preliminary calculations,the Dow Jones industrial average at its closing yesterday fell 125.21,or 1.46 per cent,to 8,473.97.

Broader stock indicators also declined. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 20.09,or 2.26 per cent,to 870.26,and the Nasdaq composite index fell 32.80,or 2.09 per cent,to 1,538.79.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 12.50,or 2.60 per cent,to 468.80.

Declining issues outpaced advancers by nearly 4 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange,where volume came to 1.31 billion shares compared with 1.16 billion traded Friday.

Oil prices helped fuel the pessimism,tumbling 8 per cent to a new low for the year as investors bet economic weakness would curb demand. Wall Street normally welcomes falling oil as a boost for consumers who pay less to put gas in their car,but steep drops can touch off deeper fears about the overall economy.

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