Wall Street falls as economic growth less than expected

August 1st, 2008 - 7:15 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Aug 1 (DPA) Stocks retreated on Wall Street Thursday after US economic growth was less than analysts had predicted. The US economy grew at 1.9 percent in the second quarter of 2008, the government said Thursday, shaking off an ongoing credit and housing crisis that had some predicting a recession in the first half of the year.

The gross domestic product (GDP) figure was up from a revised 0.9 percent in the first quarter, but less than the 2.3 percent economists had predicted for the world’s largest economy, according to Bloomberg financial news.

Shares of energy giant Exxon Mobil fell despite posting a 14-percent rise in quarterly income on soaring oil prices, as those results missed predictions by analysts. Exxon led all energy shares down for the month as declining production hurt earnings, Bloomberg said.

Caterpillar Inc, Boeing Co and Walt Disney Co also led Thursday’s retreat.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 205.67 points, or 1.8 percent, to 11,378.02. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 16.88 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,267.38. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 4.17 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,325.55.

The dollar slid to 64.11 euro cents from 64.19 euro cents on Wednesday and to 107.85 Japanese yen from 108.1 yen.

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