US stocks drop for first time in five daysMarch 17th, 2009 - 7:04 am ICT by IANS
New York, March 17 (DPA) US stocks closed slightly lower Monday, ending a four-day rally and erasing earlier gains after the world’s governments promised more measures to stabilize their economies.
Major stock indices were led lower in the final two hours of trading after American Express Co reported rising credit-card delinquency rates in February.
The Federal Reserve said that industrial output fell for the fourth straight month in February and was down 11 percent over the year, the worst annual decline since 1975.
Stocks rallied earlier after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Sunday said he expected an economic recovery by the end of this year. Group of 20 finance ministers promised during a meeting over the weekend to tackle the troubled mortgage assets at the heart of the financial crisis.
US President Barack Obama unveiled a new plan to help small businesses that have been struggling to get loans from US banks. He vowed to block bonuses handed out to employees by insurer American International Group Inc, which has accepted some $180 billion
in government loans.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.01 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,216.97. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 2.66 points, or 0.35 percent, to 753.89. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 27.48 points, or 1.92 percent, to 1,404.02.
The US currency dropped against the euro to 77.08 euro cents from 77.37 euro cents on Friday. The dollar rose against the Japanese currency to 98.25 yen from 98.01 yen.
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