U.S. Stocks Drop


U.S. stocks slid to a five-week low after a government report showed retail sales slumped at more than twice the rate forecast by economists, spurring concern the recession is deepening.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Macy’s Inc. and American Express Co. tumbled at least 3 percent after the Commerce Department said purchases decreased 2.7 percent in December, the sixth consecutive drop. Citigroup Inc. slid 14 percent as Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit works to unravel the financial- services empire following four straight quarters of losses.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 2.1 percent to 853.85 at 9:37 a.m. in New York, below its lowest close since Dec. 4. The Dow average slumped 119.95 points, or 1.4 percent, to 8,328.61. The Russell 2000 Index lost 1.6 percent.

The S&P 500 has dropped 5.5 percent in 2009 as companies from Alcoa Inc. to Intel Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spurred concern earnings will deteriorate amid the recession, while the unemployment rate in the U.S. climbed to the highest level in almost 16 years.

European stocks retreated for a sixth day as Deutsche Bank AG reported a fourth-quarter loss and investors speculated financial firms may need to raise more capital.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index dropped 2.9 percent to 195.78 at 1:35 p.m. in London. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index decreased 1.7 percent. The measures extended losses after U.S. retail sales slumped more than twice as much as forecast and Nortel Networks Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 has lost 7.9 percent in the past six days as companies from Intel Corp. to Alcoa Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spurred concern the profit outlook is worsening and lower commodity prices dragged down oil and metals producers.

National benchmark indexes declined in all 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX retreated 3 percent as Commerzbank AG and Siemens AG tumbled. France’s CAC 40 lost 2.5 percent. U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 3.6 percent as Anglo American Plc led mining shares lower.

Japanese stocks rebounded from the longest losing streak in two months as higher oil prices lifted energy producers and shippers advanced on increases in fees for transporting commodities.The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 24.54, or 0.3 percent, to close at 8,438.45 in Tokyo.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
1/14/2009 7:03:02 AM