- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) Investors succumbed to worries about earnings and sold stocks sharply lower yesterday while they awaited fourth-quarter results that begin in earnest this week. The sell-off resulted in the Dow Jones industrials' longest losing streak since September.
Investors, who don't anticipate an earnings turnaround until the second quarter, are expected to keep selling for the remainder of January as slumping profits remind them of the weak economy.
"Until there is a better fix on the state of earnings reports, it looks we will face a cautious investment constituency," said Alan Ackerman, executive vice president of Fahnestock & Co.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 96.11 yesterday, or nearly 1 percent, at 9,891.42. The blue-chip index has lost 368.32, or 3.6 percent in six consecutive losing sessions, a streak not seen since September when it fell for three sessions before the September 11 attacks and then another five sessions afterward.
But analysts weren't concerned, saying the losses are natural after the market's huge rebound from the lows that followed the attacks.
The broader market also declined yesterday. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 31.72, or 1.6 percent, to 1,990.74 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index stumbled 7.19, or 0.6 percent, to 1,138.41.
Analysts said the sell-off was also prompted by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said the economy is stabilizing but still faces risks.

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