Stocks slide on economic weakness

U.S. markets take a hit after a report on services activity shows signs of a recession.

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NEW YORK ( -- Stocks skidded at Tuesday's open after a report on nonmanufacturing activity pointed to a recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 1.4%. The Nasdaq composite index lost about 1.5%. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was 1.7% lower.

The Institute of Supply Management's services activity index plunged in January to 41.9 from 54.4, a reading that signals contraction in the sector and hints at a recessionary economy.

Among stocks in the news at the open:

News Corp.: Media company News Corp. (NWS, Fortune 500) posted results late Monday about in line with analysts' estimates and said it is not considering a bid for Internet giant Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500).

Yahoo: Shares were downgraded to "hold" from "buy" late Monday by Soleil and early Tuesday by Bank of America.

Boston Scientific: Medical device maker Boston Scientific (BSX, Fortune 500) said it swung to a net loss of $458 million in the latest quarter, but earnings excluding items beat forecasts and the company raised first-quarter guidance.

Walt Disney: Media company Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) is due to report quarterly results after the market close.

Apple: Computer and electronics maker Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500)added new models of the iPhone and iPod touch Tuesday that double the memory capacity of earlier models. To top of page

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