Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest U.S. energy producer, dropped to the lowest since August, while Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. posted its steepest drop in eight months. Concern that E*Trade Financial Corp. may go bankrupt sent the online brokerage's shares down the most since its 1996 initial public offering. Google Inc. posted the worst four-day slide in its history.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 14.52, or 1 percent, to 1,439.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 55.19, or 0.4 percent, to 12,987.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 43.81, or 1.7 percent, to 2,584.13. About six stocks fell for every five that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Energy and materials shares have led the U.S. stock market's advance this year as commodities prices surged on speculation global economic growth will remain strong. Concern the U.S. housing recession and tighter credit markets will curb demand for fuel and metals has dragged down the S&P 500 Energy Index 9.3 percent from its all-time high last month and pulled down the S&P 500 Materials Index 8.5 percent from a record.