U.S. Stocks Fall

U.S. stocks slid the most in four days as technology companies and regional banks reported earnings that missed estimates and predicted the slowing economy will keep damping profits.

Texas Instruments Inc., the second-largest U.S. semiconductor maker, declined 9 percent after forecasting a drop in sales, while Sun Microsystems Inc., the fourth-biggest maker of server computers, retreated 15 percent on revenue that fell short of analyst projections last quarter. Ohio lenders National City Corp. and Fifth Third Bancorp declined after reporting losses from bad loans.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 12.54, or 1.3 percent, to 972.86 at 9:35 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 79.49, or 0.9 percent, to 9,185.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 32.95, or 1.9 percent, to 1,737.08. About eight stocks dropped for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

The decline stalled a rebound in the S&P 500 from an almost 5 1/2 year low on Oct. 10. The benchmark index for U.S. equities climbed 9.6 percent from then through yesterday as money-market interest rates declined and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke endorsed another economic-stimulus package. At least 139 S&P 500 companies report third-quarter results this week, including Apple Inc. after the market closes today and McDonald's Corp. tomorrow.

Canada's S&P/TSX Composite index lost 103.77 or 1.01 percent at 10:21 a.m. in Toronto. Brazil's Bovespa Stock Index lost 187.78 or 0.48 percent.

U.K. stocks declined as easing liquidity concerns were not enough to keep equity markets afloat and on drugs companies declined.  The FTSE 100 Index lost 51.51, or 1.2 percent at 2.51 p.m. in London. German stocks also felt. Frankfurt DAX Index lost 57.91 or 1.2 percent.

Japan stocks climbed a third day on speculation stimulus plans will jump-start economic growth in the U.S. and at home, and as a rise in oil boosted resource shares. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 300.66, or 3.3 percent, to close at 9,306.25 in Tokyo, bringing its three-day gain to 10 percent.

Australia's benchmark stock index S&P/ASX 200 gained 160.2 points, or 3.87 percent, to 4,302.50.

India's benchmark stock index rose the most in more than a week on government efforts to unlock credit markets seized up by a tightening of global funds. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 460.30, or 4.5 percent, to 10,683.39, its biggest gain since Oct. 13.

China's stocks fell, driving the benchmark index to its first loss in three days, as financial companies and steelmakers declined on concern slowing economic growth will hurt profits. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 15.33, or 0.8 percent, to 1,881.41 at the close, giving up a gain of as much as 1.7 percent.

Russia's benchmark stock index, the Micex Index, rose 4.24 percent to 652.97.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
10/21/2008 7:30:49 AM