U.S. stocks fall after 2-day rally amid economy concerns

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NEW YORK. KAZINFORM U.S. stocks fell, after a two-day rally in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX), as concern grew that Europe's stimulus plan might not be sufficient and American wages fell before the start of corporate earnings season.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (VIX) fell 0.8 percent to 2,044.81 at 4 p.m. in New York. The loss sent the benchmark index 0.7 percent lower for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 170.5 points, or 1 percent, to 17,737.37. About 6.3 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges, 10 percent below the three-month average, Bloomberg reports.

"The laundry list of investor worries is reasserting itself here -- global growth concerns, how the ECB responds to what's going on and the strong dollar," Walter "Bucky" Hellwig, who helps manage $17 billion at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama, said in a phone interview. "We were looking for wage growth to increase, and the weaker-than-expected number was disappointing." Today's retreat follows a 3 percent rebound in the S&P 500 over two days on speculation that the Federal Reserve will support the U.S. economy even as it shows signs of strength. The benchmark index had recovered more than two thirds of its losses after tumbling 4.2 percent over five days as crude oil plunged below $48 a barrel for the first time since 2009. Stocks briefly rose at the start of trading as data showed U.S. employment rose more than forecast in December and the jobless rate declined to 5.6 percent, wrapping up the best year for the labor market since 1999. The early gain quickly melted away as investors focused on an unexpected decline in earnings in the Labor Department report. Average hourly earnings for all employees dropped by 0.2 percent, the biggest since comparable records began in 2006, to $24.57 from the prior month.

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