U.S. Stocks Tumble

U.S. stocks slid, sending the market to its biggest two-day slump since 1987, after jobless claims jumped and the shrinking economy crushed earnings at companies from Blackstone Group Inc. to News Corp.

Blackstone, the world's largest private-equity firm, fell 12 percent after posting the biggest quarterly loss in its 18 months as a public company. News Corp. sank 16 percent after the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch said ad sales decreased. Exxon Mobil Corp. dropped 5.1 percent and Chevron Corp. fell 6.4 percent as oil tumbled to a 19-month low below $61 a barrel.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 5 percent to 904.9, extending its two-day loss to 10 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 443.48 points, or 4.9 percent, to 8,695.79. The Russell 2000 Index of small U.S. companies declined 3.6 percent to 495.92. The MSCI World Index of 23 developed markets lost 6.2 percent to 921.87.

Canadian stocks dropped a second day, led by energy companies, after Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. lowered its production forecast and crude oil prices slid to a 19-month low. The Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index declined 3.9 percent to 9,498.71 at 2:05 p.m. in Toronto, as 200 stocks fell and 37 advanced.

Brazilian stocks fell for a second day on concern the global economic slowdown will reduce earnings after commodity prices dropped and the second-biggest homebuilder missed analysts' profit estimates. The Bovespa slumped 3.8 percent to 36,361.91.

U.K. equities shrugged off a mid-session bounce to drop through session lows after the Bank of England’s rate cut, which took the UK base rate to its lowest since 1955, failed to distract traders from a deteriorating economy. The FTSE 100 closed 5.7 per cent lower at 4,272.41 in afternoon trade.

Japanese stocks dropped for the first time in three days as worse-than-expected U.S. jobs and services data caused a rally sparked by Barack Obama's presidential election victory to fizzle out. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slumped 622.10, or 6.5 percent, to close at 8,899.14 in Tokyo.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index slumped 180.90 points, or 4.2 percent, to 4,155.70 at 3 p.m. in Sydney, the most in two weeks.

China's stocks fell, led by coal producers and shipping companies, on speculation prices for the fuel will extend declines and after international lines cut jobs and services. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, declined 41.64, or 2.5 percent, to 1,649.78 at the close.

Indian stocks dropped for a second day, led by banks, on concern the profitability of lenders may decline after they cut interest rates for customers more than depositors and after inflation accelerated faster than expected. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 385.79, or 3.8 percent, to 9,734.22 at the 3:30 p.m. local time close of trading.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
11/6/2008 1:23:23 PM