- - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WALL STREET

Stocks fall after Japan raises crisis level

NEW YORK | The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 100 points Tuesday after Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis and Alcoa Inc. reported disappointing sales. A drop in oil prices — to $106.25 a barrel — pulled down energy stocks.

Markets also fell in Asia and Europe after Japan said the crisis at its crippled nuclear plant was as serious as the 1986 Chernobyl accident, though much less radiation has leaked.

The plant in northern Japan was damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

“It means slower growing coming out of Japan in the short term, and that’s going to weigh on global growth,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners Inc.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 117.53 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 12,263.58. That is the largest drop since March 16, when the Dow lost 242 points on fears of a nuclear meltdown in Japan.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10.30, or 0.8 percent, to 1,314.16. The Nasdaq composite index fell 26.72, or 1 percent, to 2,744.79.

CURRENCY

Yen rises against dollar on Japan nuclear crisis

NEW YORK | The yen and Swiss franc traded higher against the dollar on Tuesday after Japan boosted the crisis level at the nuclear plant damaged in an earthquake and tsunami a month ago.

Nuclear regulators raised the rating from 5 to 7, the highest level for nuclear accidents, putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The dollar was worth 83.63 Japanese yen in afternoon trading, down from 84.75 yen late Monday. The dollar fell to 0.8957 Swiss franc from 0.9066 Swiss franc.

Elsewhere, the euro rose to $1.4486 from $1.4429 late Monday on anticipation that the European Central Bank will raise rates faster than the U.S. Federal Reserve. The European Central Bank raised its key interest rate last week, while the Federal Reserve has kept it at record lows.

INTERNET

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