Worst week for stocks in 5 months - 1.1% fall for S&P 500; concerns of slowdown
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune and Bloomberg News
Published December 23, 2006
U.S. stocks had their biggest decline of the month and their worst week since July after the latest report on American manufacturing prompted concern the economy is slowing.
The market dropped for a third day after the government said durable goods orders, excluding transportation equipment, fell more than economists forecast. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange was the slowest this year, as investors left early for the Christmas Day holiday.
Alcoa Inc., the world's biggest aluminum producer, and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. paced a retreat for raw-material stocks on concern factories may reduce output. Boeing Co. and Intel Corp. led the Dow Jones industrial average lower.
"Mainstream industrial America, which has been humming along at a good clip, is finally starting to slow," said Dan Bandi, who oversees $2.5 billion as chief investment officer at Integrity Asset Management in Independence, Ohio. "That has spooked some investors."
The Standard & Poor's 500 index ended the week down 1.1 percent, the worst five-day decline since July, on concerns a slowdown in manufacturing signals businesses are cutting production. The index on Friday lost 7.54, or 0.5 percent, to 1410.76.
The Dow lost 78.03, or 0.6 percent, to 12,343.22. The three-day losing streak for both averages is the worst since Nov. 3.
The Nasdaq composite index slid 14.67, or 0.6 percent, to 2401.18, falling for a fifth day, the worst streak since June.
Some 991 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the fewest for a full session in 2006.
The Dow average slipped 0.8 percent this week, while the Nasdaq declined 2.3 percent.
Alcoa slumped 6 cents, to $29.24. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., which is buying Phelps Dodge Corp. to create the world's biggest copper producer, lost $1.01, to $53.84. Phelps Dodge retreated $1.31, to $116.90.
Boeing, the second-biggest maker of commercial aircraft, fell $1.18, to $88.76. Intel, the largest semiconductor company, slipped 29 cents, to $20.08. A measure of industrial companies fell 0.7 percent for the third-biggest decline in the S&P.