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Rabu, 03 Agustus 2011

Stocks now down for year as economic concerns grow - AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market fell sharply Tuesday because investors have grown increasingly worried about the economy.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 33 points, or 2.6 percent, and is now down 0.3 percent for the year. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 266 points, or 2.2 percent, and is now up just 2.5 percent for the year.

A series of weak economic reports and poor earnings reports from several big companies spurred the market decline.

The Commerce Department reported that consumers cut their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years. Analysts had predicted a slight increase. Incomes also rose by the smallest amount since September, reflecting a weak job market.

The news came one day after a weak manufacturing report. And last Friday, the government said that in the first half of the year, the economy grew at its slowest pace since the recession ended in June 2009.

"The market is starting to wonder where the growth is going to come from," said Nick Kalivas, a vice president of financial research at MF Global. "It hasn't hit the panic button yet, but that's where we're drifting."

The S&P 500 closed down 32.89 points at 1,254.05. It has fallen seven straight days, losing 6.8 percent. That's the S&P's longest string of losses since the height of the financial crisis in October 2008.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 265.87 at 11,866.62. The Dow has fallen eight straight days, also the longest streak since October 2008. It's down 858 points, or 6.7 percent.

The Nasdaq composite fell 75.37, or 2.7 percent, to 2,669.24. And the Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies that many investors look to as a sign of market optimism about growth, fell 3.3 percent. It is now down 2.1 percent for the year.

All 30 stocks in the Dow fell. General Electric Co., Pfizer Inc. and Home Depot Inc. led the index lower with losses of 4 percent or more. All but 13 of the 500 companies in the S&P index fell. Read More

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