S&P at the Lowest Level Since 1997


U.S. stocks slid and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index plunged to its lowest level in 11 years after economic reports depicted a deepening recession and lawmakers postponed a vote on a plan to salvage the auto industry.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index extended its 2008 tumble to 49 percent, poised for the worst annual decline in its 80-year history. Chesapeake Energy Corp. and National-Oilwell Varco Inc. slid more than 21 percent as crude sank to a three-year low as the economic slump crushes demand. JPMorgan Chase & Co. tumbled 18 percent and Citigroup Inc. plunged 26 percent as concern the recession will trigger more bankruptcies pushed the cost of insurance against corporate defaults to an all-time high.

The S&P 500 slid 6.7 percent to 752.58, under the low of 776.76 reached during the bear market in 2002. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 443.8 points, or 5.6 percent, to 7,553.48. The Nasdaq Composite decreased 5 percent to 1,317.05. Twelve stocks retreated for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

The S&P 500 extended its tumble from an October 2007 record to almost 52 percent as all 10 of its main industry groups slid at least 3 percent. Concern the recession is deepening was spurred after jobless claims approached the highest level since 1982, the index of leading economic indicators fell for a third time in four months and the Federal Reserve said manufacturing in the Philadelphia area shrank in November at the fastest pace in 18 years.

European stocks slumped, sending the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index to the lowest level since 2003, after the highest U.S. jobless claims since 1992 heightened concern corporate profits will crumble as the global recession deepens.

National benchmark indexes retreated in all of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 3.3 percent. Germany's DAX fell 3.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 sank 3.5 percent.

Asian stocks fell, driving the region's benchmark index to its lowest level since August 2003, as Japan's exports declined the most in almost seven years and U.S. consumer prices sank by a record.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slumped 5.1 percent to 75.16 at 7:10 p.m. in Tokyo, extending this week's decline to 9.5 percent. Twelve stocks dropped for each that rose on the measure. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 6.9 percent to 7,703.04.  Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 4.2 percent to 3,352.90, the lowest since May 17, 2004. Chinese CSI 300 Index fell 20.73, or 1.1 percent, to 1,932.43.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
11/20/2008 1:22:17 PM