US stocks in sell-off as retail sales fall

May 14th, 2009 - 6:08 am ICT by IANS  

New York, May 14 (DPA) The US stocks fell sharply as retail sales in the country dropped unexpectedly in April.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday the retail sales dropped 0.4 percent in April for the second straight month, surprising analysts and signalling that the country’s economic downturn continues to depress consumer demand.

“The market had gotten ahead of itself in thinking we were coming out of this recession aggressively,” Peter Jankovskis of OakBrook Investments told Bloomberg News.

Home foreclosure filings, which helped set off the economic downturn, hit another record high in April, though the pace of the increase has slowed. New foreclosures on the month climbed less than one percent from March to 342,038 households, but were up 32 percent from April 2008, according to industry group RealtyTrac.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 184.22 points, or 2.18 percent, to 8,284.89. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plummeted 24.43 points, or 2.69 percent, to 9,883.92. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dived 51.73 points, or 3.01 percent, to 1,664.19.

The US currency climbed against the euro to 73.55 euro cents from 73.31 euro cents Tuesday. The dollar slipped against the Japanese currency to 95.33 yen from 96.50 yen.

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