US stocks fall sharply on commodities and poor tech sales

June 17th, 2009 - 6:16 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New York, June 17 (DPA) US stocks fell sharply for a second straight day Tuesday amid a poor quarterly report from Best Buy and a decline in commodity shares.
Best Buy, the world’s largest electronics retailer, said first-quarter profits fell 15 percent amid restructuring costs, pulling shares down more than 7 percent. The profit drop comes despite its biggest US rival Circuit City going out of business in March.

A drop in crude oil weighed on energy stocks, while falling copper prices pushed down shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.

The sell-off comes as President Barack Obama is set to unveil his plans for overhauling the US financial regulatory system on Wednesday. He plans to give broad new powers to the Federal Reserve to watch over the nation’s top banks.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 107.46 points, or 1.25 percent, to 8,504.67. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 plunged 11.75 points, or 1.27 percent, to 911.97. The technology- heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down 20.2 points, or 1.11 percent, to 1,796.18.

The US currency fell against the euro to 72.26 euro cents from 72.51 euro cents on Monday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 96.42 yen from 97.85 yen.

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