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Stock market in turmoil again


Stock prices dropped sharply today as newly released data fueled worries that the economy is weakening, and bank shares tumbled on fears that the European financial crisis could spread havoc to other parts of the world, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 398.82 points, or 3.5 percent, at midday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 44.64 points, or 3.74 percent. The Nasdaq composite index was down 103.93 points, or 4.14 percent.

The selloff in stocks was broad, but sectors associated with growth were among the hardest hit. On the Dow, shares of IBM were down 5.4 percent, and United Technologies declined 5.3 percent. On the Nasdaq, shares of Oracle fell 8 percent.

Among banks, Citigroup Inc. was down 7.2 percent and Morgan Stanley was down 5.7 percent.

Another negative economic report showed that U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly dropped in July. Purchases decreased by 3.5 percent to a 4.67 million annual rate, the weakest since November, according to figures released by the National Association of Realtors.

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