Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stock Barometers Decrease

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stock Barometers Decrease

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- A selloff in blue chip and technology issues pushed stocks sharply lower Monday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite index down more than 100 points apiece as corporate profit warnings again preoccupied the market.

With less than two weeks remaining in the third quarter and anxiety about earnings increasing, investors showed little tolerance for companies that even hinted at disappointing results. The Dow closed down 118.48 at 10,808.52. On Friday, the Dow fell more than 160 points amid concerns about oil prices and company profits. Broader stock indicators also fell Monday. The Nasdaq dropped 108.71 to 3,726.52, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21.30 to 1,444.51. Analysts said the declines reflected investors' uncertainty about corporate earnings amid increasing evidence that the economy's growth is moderating.

The Nasdaq is off nearly 12 percent since Sept. 1, when it had its most recent high close, 4,234.33. The Dow, meanwhile, is off about 4.4 percent since it reached 11,310.64 on Sept. 6 and the S&P is off 5 percent since it reached 1,520.77 on Sept. 1.

"I think the markets are concerned about earnings going forward and the effect the slowdown of the economy will have on them," said A.C. Moore, chief investment strategist for Dunvegan Associates in Santa Barbara, Calif. "I would say overall, markets are in a correcting process and... it has taken the failure of a succession of rallies for investors to recognize this change."

Moore said investors are also concerned about the weakness of the euro, Europe's chief currency, and the effect that rising oil prices, which hit their highest level in a decade Monday, will have on corporate profits. The near-term price for a barrel of crude oil passed $37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange before falling back slightly and closing at $36.88. The upcoming presidential election, which looks to be a tight race, also has some investors nervous about making big commitments, Moore said. …

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