U.S. Stocks Drop

U.S. stocks fell, erasing early gains, as a drop in energy and metals prices pushed down commodity producers and overshadowed a rise in technology shares.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 4.27 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,206.2 as of 12:53 p.m. in New York, after earlier increasing 1.2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 34.01, or 0.3 percent, to 10,981.58, erasing a 128-point rally. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 4.64 to 2,174.34. About five stocks decreased for every four that gained on the New York Stock Exchange as of 12:34 p.m. in New York.

Stocks dropped from their highs of the day as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson detailed their $700 billion bank bailout before Congress. Bernanke urged swift passage of the measure to avoid a contraction in the economy.

Earlier today, stocks in Europe and Asia and U.S. also felt, led by financial companies and commodity producers. Barclays Plc, the U.K.'s third-biggest bank, dropped 6.3 percent and Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd. retreated 4.5 percent. Vedanta Resources Plc, India's largest zinc producer, and Rio Tinto Group slid more than 6 percent on lower metals prices. Marks & Spencer Group Plc sank 4.7 percent after Deutsche Bank AG cut its recommendation on shares of the U.K.'s biggest clothing retailer.

National benchmark indexes decreased in all 18 western European markets. The benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 100.14, or 1.9 percent, to 5,136.12 in London. France's CAC 40 dropped 2 percent and Germany's DAX retreated 0.9 percent.

Australian stocks fell for the first time in three days. S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 97 points, or 1.9 percent, to 4,923.50 at the close of trading in Sydney, ending a two-day, 9 percent jump.

China's CSI 300 Index slid 3.8 percent, the most in the region. China Vanke Co., the nation's largest publicly traded developer, led declines after the proportion of households planning to buy a home dropped to the lowest level on record.

India's benchmark stock index fell for a second day after oil prices jumped by a record and concern grew the U.S. financial-industry bailout won't prevent a global recession. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, slid 372.89, or 2.7 percent, to 13,622.07 as of 2:47 p.m. local time. The BSE 200 Index fell 2.2 percent to 1,653.10.

Russia's benchmark Micex Index dropped 3.1 percent to 1,076.31, after a record 29 percent two-day gain for the stocks.
Brazilian stocks dropped for a second day, led by raw-material producers, on concern delays in the U.S. government's $700 billion bank bailout may worsen the credit crisis, cut demand for commodities and slow the economy. The Bovespa index slipped 654.87, or 1.3 percent, to 50,885.71 at 11:05 a.m. New York time. Almost two stocks fell for every one that rose on the index.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
9/23/2008 10:26:38 AM