Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

NASDAQ Falls to Lowest in More Than a Year

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

NASDAQ Falls to Lowest in More Than a Year

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- A darkening outlook for technology companies including Dell and Amazon.com sent the Nasdaq Composite index reeling yet again Tuesday to its lowest close in more than a year.

A report showing a drop in consumer confidence further undermined the already shaky high-tech sector and heightened fears that the moderating economy will hurt profits for a broad range of U.S. companies.

"This just looks like a continuation of the nervousness we've seen for a while," said Mike Weiner, a managing director at Banc One Investment Advisors. "A lot of the tech stocks are still fairly expensive because of the run they've had and they're not attracting new money... There are still too many questions about future earnings."

The Nasdaq Composite index ended the session down 145.51, or 5 percent, at 2,734.98. It was the index's lowest close since Oct. 19, 1999, when the index stood at 2,688.18. The Nasdaq's recent declines has given it a string of new lows for the past year.

The selling spilled over to blue chips. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 38.49 to 10,507.58 after moving in and out of positive territory for much of the session.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 12.88 to 1,336.09.

Analysts said that while some of the market's volatility can be blamed on the continuing presidential election dispute, earnings concerns are the real culprit. Disappointing third quarter results pulled stocks sharply lower in September and October. Many market watchers fear a repeat next month as companies begin to discuss the fourth quarter and the impact that the slower economy is having on growth.

"We're more worried about the economy and how it's going to affect corporate earnings then who our next president will be," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co.

Investors, unsure of where to put their money in the volatile market, have been shifting into stocks considered safe bets, including drug and financial stocks.

Some of that pattern was repeated Tuesday with drug maker Merck rising 63 cents to $92. …

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