U.S. Stocks Drop

U.S. stocks tumbled as an industry report showed companies cut the most jobs since 2001 and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. reduced production, spurring concern the yearlong recession is deepening.

Freeport-McMoRan sank 17 percent after the largest publicly traded copper producer also suspended its dividend. Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, lost 3.4 percent as profit trailed its forecast. General Motors Corp. slid 4.7 percent after saying it needs $8 billion to stay in business. All 10 industries in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell following ADP Employer Services’ report of 250,000 job cuts last month.

The S&P 500 lost 18.14, or 2.1 percent, to 830.67 at 9:32 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 174.35, or 2.1 percent, to 8,244.74. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 2.3 percent to 1,416.14.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.3 percent as GST Holdings Ltd., a Chinese fire-alarm maker, and China Mobile Ltd. rallied.

National benchmarks slid in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The FTSE 100 lost 0.4 percent, as Stagecoach Group Plc slipped after forecasting tough times ahead. France’s CAC 40 dropped 1 percent, led by Electricite de France SA after it bid $4.5 billion for half of Constellation Energy Group Inc.’s nuclear power business. Germany’s DAX slid 1.2 percent.

Japanese stocks rebounded from yesterday’s plunge after recession-conscious consumers boosted sales at discount retailers and lower oil prices brightened the earnings prospects for utilities.  The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 140.41, or 1.8 percent, to close at 8,004.10 in Tokyo.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 5.60 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,533.80 at the close in Sydney, the most since Nov. 28.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
12/3/2008 7:02:39 AM