MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks End Down Steeply On Jobs Worries

Date : 08/30/2010 @ 4:43PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : First Horizon National Corp. (FHN)
Quote : 18.365  -0.325 (-1.74%) @ 3:40PM

MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks End Down Steeply On Jobs Worries

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By Kate Gibson

U.S. stocks fell sharply Monday, adding to losses for August so far, as investors worried about the economy at the start of a data-riddled week, which culminates with the monthly employment report.

"The problem is Friday's unemployment number, and investors may be staying on the sidelines concerned about it," said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor's.

"Those monthly numbers are important. Whether we're looking at housing, durable goods or anything else, it still comes down to jobs -- no jobs, no recovery," Silverblatt said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 140.92 points, or 1.4%, to end at 10,009.73, near session lows.

The Dow is currently off 4.4% for August, with only one trading session left in the month.

"The market is having a bit of a temper tantrum, saying businesses should step up and start hiring people or we need one more shot of stimulus," said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial.

All but one of the Dow's 30 components traded lower. Intel Corp. (INTC) dropped 2.2% after the world's largest computer-chip manufacturer said it would pay about $1.4 billion to acquire Infineon Technologies AG's wireless unit. .

Also weighing on the Dow, shares of 3M Co. (MMM) were off 1.7% after the company said it would buy Cogent Inc. (COGT). .

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) was the sole blue-chip gainer, up 1.5%, with shares of the technology titan bolstered by a share-repurchase plan amid its pursuit of a deal to acquire 3Par (PAR).

The spate of M&A "illustrates companies are flush with money and willing to use it, and valuations are relatively cheap," said White, who added that buyout premiums being offered are relatively modest, showing "companies are nervous and not willing to overspend."

And, "investors are thinking, if companies are not going to overbuy here, maybe I shouldn't either," he added.

Genzyme Corp. (GENZ) rejected an $18.5 billion acquisition offer from Sanofi-Aventis (SNY). .

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) declined 15.67 points, or 1.5%, to end at 1,048.92, with financials leading losses that included all 10 of the index's industry groups, with regional banks KeyCorp (KEY) and First Horizon National Corp. (FHN) both down around 4%.

The broad-market average is down 4.8% for August so far.

The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) shed 33.66 points, or 1.6%, to 2,119.97.

The technology-heavy index has fallen 6% in the month so far.

For every stock on the rise, nearly four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 818 million shares traded.

Earlier Monday, the Commerce Department reported that personal spending climbed 0.4% in July, the largest rise in four months, while personal income gained 0.2% on the month. .

On Friday, the government will release figures on nonfarm payrolls and the jobless rate for August.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude-oil futures fell 47 cents to $74.7 a barrel, while gold futures gained $1.3 to end at $1,239.20 an ounce.

 
 



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