US stocks tumble over record drop in retail sales

November 15th, 2008 - 10:05 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 15 (DPA) US stocks dropped Friday, capping a dismal end to another volatile week, over concerns that a slump in retail sales revealed the extent of a looming recession.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 337.94 points, or 3.82 percent, as investors grappled with the bleak outlook for consumer spending.

Sears Holdings Corp, Home Depot Inc and Office Depot Inc fell more than 7.6 percent as government data revealed that retail sales dropped 2.8 percent in October, in the fourth consecutive drop and the biggest decline since such records began in 1992, according to the US Commerce Department.

“The retailers are just confirming what everybody already knows - the economy is in bad shape, people are not spending,” Malcolm Polley, president of Stewart Capital Advisors in Indiana, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg financial news agency. “We have too many retailers and some of them will go away.”

The blue-chip Dow dropped to 8,497.31. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 38 points, or 4.17 percent, to 873.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 79.85 points, or 5 percent, to 1,516.85.

The S&P 500 has plummeted almost 41 percent this year - its worst performance since 1931.

The US currency rose to 79.33 euro cents from 78.24 euro cents on Thursday. Against the Japanese currency, the dollar fell to 97.14 yen from 97.66 yen Thursday.

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