U.S. Stocks Decline


U.S. stocks retreated, paring a global rally, as financial shares fell for the first time in three days on growing skepticism the Federal Reserve’s plan to buy bonds will revive the economy.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. declined at least 5.7 percent. Prudential Financial Inc., the second-biggest U.S. life insurer, tumbled 25 percent after its senior debt rating was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service because of investment losses. Oracle Corp. led an advance in technology shares after its earnings topped estimates and the company said it will start paying a dividend.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.3 percent to 784.04. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 85.78 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,400.80. The Russell 2000 Index of small companies slumped 1.1 percent to 413.26. The MSCI World Index of 23 developed markets added 1.5 percent to 800.98, giving it an eight-day winning streak that’s the longest since 2006.

A slump in financials overtook a rally in materials and energy producers that had helped drive a 1.1 percent gain in the S&P 500 one minute after trading started in New York. The decline halted the S&P 500’s rebound from the 12-year low reached on March 9, paring the gain to 16 percent.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
3/19/2009 1:22:49 PM