US stocks tumble on lower spending, Dell’s earnings

August 30th, 2008 - 7:29 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 30 (DPA) US stocks retreated Friday, led by slower consumer spending and lower-than-expected earnings from computer maker Dell.As incomes dropped an unexpected 0.7 percent in July, the US Commerce Department said growth in personal spending slowed to 0.2 percent.

Dell, the second-biggest personal-computer maker, posted its biggest drop in earnings since 2000, and attributed it to “continued conservatism” among US consumers, which was also spreading to parts of Western Europe and Asia.

Technology stocks tumbled, with Apple losing 2.4 percent, Microsoft dropping 2.3 percent and the largest chip-maker Intel dipping 3.1 percent.

“The environment remains challenged for the equity market,” Mike Ryan of UBS Financial Services Inc, told Bloomberg financial news. “As we’re faced with the impact of higher energy costs and the lack of availability of credit, that’s going to put more pressure on the consumer sector.”

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 171.63 points, or 1.47 percent, to 11,543.55. The broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 17.85 points, or 1.37 percent, to 1,282.83. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 44.12 points, or 1.83 percent, to 2,367.52.

The US currency rose to 68.15 euro cents from 68.05 euro cents on Thursday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 108.80 yen from 109.49 yen Thursday.

Gold fell to $835.20 Friday from $837.20 per fine ounce Thursday.

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