Wall Street sank in volatile trading Thursday after the government confirmed that the last quarter of 2007 did indeed see a sharp economic...
NEW YORK — Wall Street sank in volatile trading Thursday after the government confirmed that the last quarter of 2007 did indeed see a sharp economic slowdown.
For the second straight session, the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points, giving up 120.40 to close at 12,302.46. The index dropped nearly 110 points Wednesday.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, declined 51 cents to close at $28.05 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, fell $2.08 to $74.22.
Broader stock indicators also fell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index declined 15.37 to 1,325.76, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 43.53 to 2,280.83.
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The technology sector was particularly weak after business-software maker Oracle posted worse-than-expected fiscal third-quarter sales and issued a cautious forecast. Meanwhile, data suggesting that Google’s revenue from Internet users’ clicks could slow also raised worries about tech stocks.
Oracle fell $1.51, or 7.2 percent, to $19.43, and Google dropped $14.11, or 3.1 percent, to $444.08.
Financial stocks lost ground Thursday as well, with investors uncertain about what is in store for the economy and the troubled financial sector.
But the sense of panic that emanated from the near-collapse of Bear Stearns at the start of last week has lessened, observers say. The Federal Reserve on Thursday auctioned off $75 billion in credit to investment banks, whose demand was solid but not at the desperate levels some investors had feared.
George Shipp, chief investment officer at Scott & Stringfellow, said investors generally remain uneasy about whether they have an accurate read on the scale of the troubles in the financial sector and to what degree the parade of write-downs on bad investments might continue.
“It’s hard to imagine there is going to be any good news. The question is whether it’s been discounted,” he said, referring to another round of potentially weak results from big banks in the coming months. “The market is groping for a bottom. It’s a difficult time.”