U.S. Stocks Retreat

U.S. stocks slid, halting a two-day advance, after companies from FedEx Corp. to Danaher Corp. forecast earnings that disappointed investors as the deepening recession crimps sales.

FedEx, the second-biggest U.S. package-shipping company, tumbled 14 percent after projecting profit below analysts’ estimates amid a significantly weaker” economy. United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx’s larger rival, lost 7 percent. Danaher, maker of Craftsman tools, slid 4.2 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. dropped almost 7 percent as yields on three-month Treasuries turned negative for the first time, signaling increasing stress in credit markets.

The S&P 500 lost 2.3 percent to 888.67, extending declines late in the day as a drop in oil snuffed out gains in energy shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 242.85 points, or 2.7 percent, to 8,691.33 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.6 percent to 1,547.34. About three stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

European stocks rose for a second day as optimism that stimulus plans will boost the global economy lifted retailers and automakers, while investor confidence in Germany unexpectedly improved.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 1.4 percent to 205.34 as 17 out of 19 industry groups advanced. The measure has rebounded 13 percent since this year’s low Nov. 21 as governments from the U.S. to India announced stimulus plans to buoy the global economy and prevent earnings from tumbling.

National benchmark indexes increased in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 1.9 percent and France’s CAC climbed 1.6 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 1.3 percent as Daimler climbed.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
12/9/2008 1:15:21 PM