U.S. Stocks Drop

U.S. stocks retreated, adding to the market's worst one-day loss in 21 years, as reports on industrial production and manufacturing spurred concern the economic slump is worsening.

Boeing Co. and General Motors Corp. retreated more than 2.4 percent after industrial production fell by the most in 34 years and a gauge of manufacturing in Philadelphia slumped to the lowest in almost two decades.

The S&P 500 declined 15.35 points, or 1.7 percent, to 892.49 at 10:15 a.m. in New York, the lowest since April 2003. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 141.37, or 1.7 percent, to 8,436.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 19.66 to 1,608.67. Almost two stocks dropped for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

The retreat over the past two days erased all of the 12 percent gain in the S&P 500 on Oct. 13, when the market rallied the most since the 1930s on speculation the government's plan to shore up banks will ease the credit crisis. Efforts to calm financial markets probably won't result in an immediate economic rebound, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told the Economic Club of New York yesterday.

The S&P 500 has tumbled 37 percent in 2008 as losses and writedowns from mortgage-related investments at financial firms worldwide topped $646 billion. The measure has retreated 24 percent since Sept. 26.

Canadian stocks retreated following the previous day slump. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index lost 2.2 percent to 9,119.91 at 10:21 a.m. in Toronto.

Stocks declined also in Asia and Europe, with benchmark indexes from Tokyo to Budapest falling more than 4 percent, on growing concern bank bailout plans in the U.S. and Europe will fail to avert a global recession.

U.K. stocks slumped for a second day as investors speculated a global bailout of banks has failed to stave off recession. BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group and Royal Dutch Shell dropped as oil and metals prices decreased. The benchmark FTSE 100 slipped 102.04, or 2.5 percent, to 3,977.52 at 3:06 p.m. in London.

German stocks dropped for a second day as concern mounted that bank bailouts in the U.S. and Europe will fail to prevent a recession. The benchmark DAX Index dropped 58.29, or 1.2 percent, to 4,803 as of 4:06 p.m. in Frankfurt.

Japanese stocks
plunged the most in two decades. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 1,089.02, or 11 percent, to close at 8,458.45 in Tokyo, the second-steepest plunge in its 59-year history.

Australia's stocks
dropped amid growing evidence the nation's 17-year economic expansion will end, as Ford Motor Co. said it will cut 450 local jobs and National Australia Bank Ltd. said profit fell. Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index plunged 6.7 percent to 4,013.40 at the close, eroding a rebound from a 16 percent loss last week, the worst in its history dating back to 1992.

China's stocks
fell, driving the benchmark index to a 22-month low, as commodity producers and airlines declined on concern the global economy is headed for a recession that will curb Chinese exports. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, sank 93.45, or 4.9 percent, to 1,820.90 at the close, the lowest close since December 2006

Indian stocks
fell, with the benchmark Sensitive Index declining to its lowest in almost a week, after U.S. retail sales fell more than estimated. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 227.63, or 2.1 percent, to 10,581.49. It earlier fell as much as 7.3 percent.

Russian stocks
fell to the lowest in three years, led by OAO Rosneft and OAO Lukoil, as sinking oil prices hurt the outlook for Russia's economy and equities dropped around the world. The Micex Index fell 11 percent to 616.72 at 4:12 p.m. in Moscow, the lowest since June 2005. The Micex Stock Exchange halted trading for an hour because of the slump...

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
10/16/2008 7:37:02 AM