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Saturday, October 20, 2012

US Stocks log worst day since June (ext.CNN)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A slew of weak earnings reports sent investors reeling Friday and pushed all three indexes down nearly 2%, marking the worst day on Wall Street since June.

The S&P 500 lost 1.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 205 points, or 1.5%. The Nasdaq posted the steepest declines, falling 2.2%.

"The high profile earnings have been a disappointment so far," said Frank Davis, head of trading at LEK Securities. "We've now had enough companies reporting that people are looking at overall fundamentals, and the valuations of stocks aren't that attractive."

Still, both the S&P 500 and the Dow eked out gains of 0.3% for the week, while the Nasdaq dropped 1.2%.

So far, 23% of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results, according to S&P Capital IQ analysts, who expect third-quarter earnings overall to grow a modest 0.04%. That would be the lowest expected growth rate since the third quarter of 2009.

On the bright side, "trading is orderly. It's not frantic selling," said Douglas DePietro, a managing director for sales and trading at Evercore Partners. Volumes, he noted, remained relatively muted throughout the day. managed

Friday also marks the 25th anniversary of the worst one-day stock plunge in history, known as "Black Monday," when the Dow dropped 22.6%.

Economy: A new reading on housing didn't do much to reverse Wall Street's doom and gloom.
The National Association of Realtors said September's existing home sales came in at an annual rate of 4.75 million. That was down from the 4.83 million pace the previous month but up 11% from the rate of sales a year earlier.

Overseas, European Union leaders in Brussels agreed late Thursday to establish a eurozone-wide banking supervisor in 2013 designed to help prevent future catastrophic bank failures that could threaten the monetary union.

European stocks closed lower Friday. Britain's FTSE 100 slumped 0.3%, the DAX in Germany fell 0.8% and France's CAC 40 lost 1.1%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro and Japanese yen, but slipped versus the British pound.

Oil for November delivery lost $2.05 to $90.05 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery fell $20.70 to $1,724.00 an ounce.


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