Stocks sink, day 2
Major stock gauges tumble, led by tech-fueled composite, as investors give back recent gains amid worries about a slowdown.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stocks tumbled Friday, falling for the second session in a row, as investors gave back some of the recent rally amid worries about the speed of the economic slowdown.
The Nasdaq composite (down 18.82 to 2,218.93, Charts) lost 0.8 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average (down 25.13 to 11,508.10, Charts) and the Standard & Poor's 500 (Charts) index both lost around 0.2 percent.
Treasury prices rose for the second session, lowering the corresponding yields and the dollar declined versus other major currencies. Oil prices slipped, while gold prices surged.
After the close of trade, Hewlett-Packard said that Chairman Patricia Dunn has resigned effective immediately amid her role in the company's boardroom leak investigation scandal.
Dunn, who initially said she would step down in January, will be replaced by chief executive Mark Hurd. Dunn is also leaving HP's board. (Full story).
Stocks slumped Thursday after a weak reading on manufacturing in the Philadelphia area sparked worries about the economy - and gave investors a good reason to back track after the recent rally.
That negativity continued Friday, with the technology sector feeling the brunt of the selloff. Even a slide in oil prices - often a boon for investors - failed to help the market.
Stocks have rallied over the last few weeks on lower oil prices, a belief that the economy is heading for a slowdown, not a recession and relief that the Federal Reserve Board seems to be set to keep interest rates unchanged for now.
That rally had pushed the Dow to within 110 points of its all-time high from 6-1/2 years ago and had left the S&P 500 not far from a 5-1/2 year high.
After such an advance, stocks were vulnerable, particularly after getting news Thursday that revives the threat of the economy heading into recession, rather than a so-called 'soft landing.'
The recent advance has been "driven by lower oil prices and friendly economic data," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. "Yesterday was the first taste of what looked like hard landing sort of data."
In addition, he said that the corporate news today "is not very happy," including Boston Scientific's warning and the continued overhang of Hewlett-Packard.
Treasury prices rose for a second session Friday, lowering the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 4.59 percent from 4.64 percent late Thursday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
A number of large technology stocks fell, giving back some recent gains. Losers included Apple Computer (down $1.65 to $73.00, Charts), Oracle (down $0.54 to $17.54, Charts), Microsoft (down $0.24 to $26.66, Charts) and SanDisk (down $2.31 to $55.38, Charts).
A variety of telecom and networking stocks declined, dragging down the Amex Networking (down 2.74 to 232.20, Charts) index by 1.2 percent.
Boston Scientific (down $1.51 to $14.85, Charts) warned late Thursday that third-quarter sales and earnings will miss forecasts due to weakness across most of its businesses. The medical device maker also warned that sales of its top-selling drug-coated stent will fall from last quarter and miss estimates.
Shares tumbled 9.2 percent Friday.
KB Home (up $1.20 to $44.25, Charts) reported quarterly revenue that rose from a year earlier and topped estimates, on home sales that slumped from the prior year. The company did not release quarterly earnings, due to an ongoing internal probe of its stock option grants.
The homebuilder also said a difficult market was unlikely to improve in the future, echoing the concerns of others in its industry. Nonetheless, the stock gained on the revenue increase. Other homebuilders gained too, bouncing back after several down days. The Dow Jones Home Construction (Charts) index added 1.9 percent.
Market breadth was negative. On the New York Stock Exchange, losers beat winners 5 to 3 on volume of 1.43 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers 2 to 1 on volume of 1.69 billion shares.
U.S. light crude oil for November delivery fell $1.04 to $60.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
COMEX gold for December delivery rose $7.10 to $595.40 an ounce.
In currency trading, the dollar dipped versus the euro and the yen.