Wall Street falls sharply amid Libya unrest

February 23rd, 2011 - 4:41 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Feb 23 (IANS) US stocks dropped sharply Tuesday amid Libya unrest with the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting 178.46 points, or 1.44 percent, to 12,212.79 points, Xinhua reported.The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged 27.57 points, or 2.05 percent, to 1,315.44 and the Nasdaq declined 77.53 points, or 2.74 percent, to 2,756.42.

Tuesday’s decline came after a three-day President’s Day weekend when US stock market closed Monday. The unrest in the Middle East region weighed heavily on the market when investors came back with mounting concerns that the unrest in Libya would spread to other oil-rich countries, pushing gas prices higher for consumers.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 large metropolitan areas fell one percent in December, with the home prices in 11 cities hitting new lows. Meanwhile, the decline marked the sixth straight month of losses and the eighth time in the past 11 months.

However, the Consumer Confidence Index rose in February to its highest level in three years as Americans are feeling more optimistic about the economic recovery, according to the Conference Board. It was the index’s fifth consecutive monthly increase.

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