U.S. Stocks Drop Most in 3 Weeks


U.S. stocks slumped the most in three weeks as the Obama administration warned that some banks will need more government aid and that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have one last chance to restructure. Treasuries and the dollar gained.

Bank of America Corp. slid 18 percent and Citigroup Inc. sank 12 percent after U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said some banks will need large amounts” of assistance. General Motors plunged 25 percent as Obama said GM and Chrysler must survive without becoming wards of the state.” Alcoa Inc. tumbled 14 percent after Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd.’s profit decreased by more than 99 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 3.5 percent to 787.53, trimming its March rally to 7.1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 254.16 points, or 3.3 percent, to 7,522.02. The MSCI World Index of 23 developed countries lost 3.9 percent.

The slide today trimmed the S&P 500’s advance from a 12- year low on March 9 to 16 percent, leaving it down 13 percent in 2009. Stocks had rebounded this month from as firms from Citigroup to JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they were profitable in January and February and Geithner detailed plans to rid banks of toxic assets.

The S&P 500, the benchmark index for U.S. stocks, advanced 21 percent in the 14 trading days ended March 27, the most over a stretch of that size since 1938, according to data compiled by New York-based S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
3/30/2009 1:35:54 PM