US stocks fall on retail, bank concerns

March 29th, 2008 - 6:42 am ICT by admin  

New York, March 29 (DPA) Major US stock indices were led lower Friday by banks and retailers amidst the worst quarterly slump since 2002. Concern grew that the already beleaguered credit scene would get tighter because of anticipation of further writedowns.

JC Penney, the third-largest US department-store chain, dropped to a two-month low after it expressed worry that lower consumer spending would hurt its first quarter earnings.

Citigroup Inc, the country’s largest bank, tumbled on an analyst’s prediction that it would not be able to maintain its 1.28 dollar per share annual dividend.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 86.06 points, or 0.70 percent, to 12,216.40. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 10.54 points, or 0.80 percent, to 1,315.22. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 19.65 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,261.18.

The US currency dropped against the euro to 63.30 euro cents from 63.38 euro cents Thursday. The dollar also fell against the Japanese currency to 99.24 yen from 99.65 yen Thursday.

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