U.S. Stocks Drop

U.S. stocks dropped after a report showing 157,000 job losses and falling production at the world's largest steelmaker spurred concern the economy will worsen even as President-elect Barack Obama takes steps to stimulate growth.

Nucor Corp., the largest U.S.-based steel producer, fell 5.9 percent after ArcelorMittal doubled production cuts amid slowing demand. Transocean Inc., the world's largest offshore oil driller, slid as much as 4.6 percent on profit that trailed the average analyst estimate. The market's declines came a day after the biggest presidential Election Day gain in 24 years.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 9.55 points, or 1 percent, to 996.2 at 10:40 a.m. in New York as a report showing a bigger-than-forecast contraction in service industries also weighed on stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 100.67, or 1.1 percent, to 9,524.61 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 21.07, or 1.2 percent, to 1,759.05. More than three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

European stocks retreated for the first time in seven days and U.S. index futures dropped after disappointing earnings overshadowed speculation that Barack Obama will boost the economy with a stimulus package.

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index lost 2.2 percent to 228.42 as of 12:55 p.m. in London. Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index decreased 1.5 percent before a report that may show service industries in the U.S. shrank in October.

National benchmark indexes fell in 16 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 2.3 percent and France's CAC 40 lost 2.4 percent as BNP Paribas SA dropped after the bank said third-quarter profit fell 56 percent. Germany's DAX decreased 1.7 percent with Q-Cells SE tumbling 15 percent after Deutsche Bank recommended selling the stock.

Japan stocks extended a record rally from a 26-year low on speculation U.S. president-elect Barack Obama will take additional steps to spur economic growth and as a rise in commodities prices sparked gains by resource companies. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 406.64, or 4.5 percent, to close at 9,521.24 in Tokyo.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 121.50 points, or 2.9 percent, to 4,336.60 at the close in Sydney, its highest since Oct. 8.

Indian stocks dropped for the first time in six days, led by Reliance Industries Ltd. and Tata Steel Ltd. and on speculation recent gains were overdone. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 511.11, or 4.8 percent, to 10,120.01.

China's stocks rose the most in three weeks, led by financial and energy companies, on speculation Barack Obama will take steps as U.S. president to bolster the world's largest economy and as oil and metals prices jumped. The CSI 300 Index, tracking yuan-denominated A shares on China's two exchanges, gained 63.66, or 3.9 percent, to 1,691.42 at the close, the biggest advance since Oct. 13.

Russian stocks rose for a sixth day, forcing a halt in trading, on higher oil prices and speculation that Barack Obama's presidency will boost the country's relations with the U.S. The 30-stock Micex Index surged as much as 14 percent, poised for a sixth consecutive day of gains, the longest since President Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration in May.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
11/5/2008 8:11:41 AM