- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2009

NEW YORK — Stocks have fallen sharply after Citigroup Inc. and General Electric Co. announced moves that will reduce the value of the companies’ shares.

Citigroup will turn over a big piece of itself to the government. That is fanning worries that banks would face more trouble. And GE is slashing its quarterly dividend by 68 percent.

Both Citi and GE are part of the Dow Jones industrial average.

Stocks closed off their lows of the day, but still had big losses as investors close another unforgiving month for stocks.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is at its lowest level since 1996, while the Dow industrials are showing their lowest finish since April 1997.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow is down about 119 points at 7,063. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 17 at 735, while the Nasdaq composite index is down 13 at 1,377.

Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was a heavy 2.25 billion shares.

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