The US stock market's latest rally had peaked in early May and then turned down. Now that downturn appears to be accelerating.
U.S. stocks tumbled, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst June since the Great Depression, as record oil prices, credit-market writedowns and a slowing economy threatened to extend a yearlong profit slump.
General Motors Corp., the largest U.S. automaker, plunged the most in three years as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised selling the stock and crude rose by $5 a barrel. Citigroup Inc. led the KBW Bank Index to an almost 10-year low as Goldman said the lender may report an $8.9 billion second-quarter charge and cut its dividend. Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, posted its biggest drop since 2001 on concern competition with Apple Inc.'s iPhone is reducing earnings.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index plunged 38.82, or 2.9 percent, to 1,283.15, its biggest drop in three weeks. The Dow decreased 358.41, or 3 percent, to 11,453.42, its lowest since September 2006. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 79.89, or 3.3 percent, to 2,321.37, its worst loss since January. Almost nine stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Yesterday's economic data were probably secondary.
The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first quarter, capping the weakest six months of growth in five years, the Commerce Department said today. The revised gain in gross domestic product was up from a preliminary estimate of 0.9 percent issued last month.
Initial jobless claims totaled 384,000 in the week ended June 21, unchanged from the previous week's tally that was higher than previously estimated, the Labor Department said. The total number of people collecting benefits rose by 82,000 to 3.139 million in the week ended June 14, the highest since February 2004.
MarketBeat has a collection of views from investors on yesterday's big drop and what it represents.