US stocks fall amid economic worriesDecember 24th, 2008 - 7:30 am ICT by IANS
New York, Dec 24 (Xinhua) The US stocks closed lower with Dow losing for a fifth consecutive session Tuesday as a gloomy economic outlook and worrying home sales added to investors’ concern about recession.The US Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) declined at an annual rate of 0.5 percent, the same as the government estimate one month ago. But investors are concerned that the readings for current and future quarters will get worse, with some projecting as much as a six-percent drop in the October-December quarter.
Meanwhile, another report showed that November sales of new homes in the US dropped by 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 407,000 units, which was the slowest sales pace since January 1991. The November new home prices fell 11.5 percent from the level one year ago.
Energy shares fell as the crude oil closed below $39 a barrel after dipping to as low as $37.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In corporate news, the largest US card maker American Greetings reported losses in the third quarter as sales declined. American Greetings fell $3.42, or 34.83 percent, to $6.4.
American Express Co. and commercial financial firm CIT Group Inc. said Tuesday that they each received preliminary approval to obtain billions in funding from the government’s $700-billion TARP fund.
The Dow Jones fell 100.28 points to close at 8,419.49, while broader indexes like the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 8.47 points to 863.16; and the Nasdaq dropped 10.81 points to end at 1,521.54.
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