Dow falls to five-year low

November 20th, 2008 - 7:33 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 20 (DPA) US stocks slid more than 5 percent Wednesday, taking the Dow Jones Industrial Average below the 8,000 mark for the first time in five years, amid gloomy financial news and fear for US automakers.The economic fears were fed by the release of minutes from the last Federal Reserve board meeting that showed members believe the US economy will contract between now and mid-2009, and suggested more interest rate cuts could be necessary.

Other economic news showed US consumer prices fell 1 percent in October, the largest one-month decrease since inflation prices started being published in 1947.

The blue chip Dow fell 427.47 points, or 5.1 percent, to 7,997.28. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 52.54 points, or 6.1 percent, to 806.58. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index shed 96.85, or 6.5 percent, to 1,386.42.

“Hideous day,” Bill Stone of PNC Wealth Management told Bloomberg financial news. “It’s hard to put a basement on this thing.”

The New York tumble followed slides in Europe and Asia.

The US currency rose to 79.87 euro cents from 79.25 euro cents Tuesday. Against the Japanese currency, the dollar fell to 95.95 from 97.01 yen.

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