- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) Renewed fears about war and terrorism tormented Wall Street yesterday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its lowest level in nearly five months.
Analysts said skittish investors unloaded stocks in response to a bomb blast in the Philippines yesterday and concerns about a U.S.-led attack on Iraq. Auto stocks sagged on downgrades of General Motors and Ford.
"We had disappointing news in the autos and, generally, we had more disappointing news on corporate profitability," said Stephen Massocca, president of Pacific Growth Equities. "That coupled with continued concerns over Iraq continues to weigh on the market."
The Dow fell 132.99, or 1.7 percent, to close at 7,704.87, having declined 53 points Monday. It was the lowest level since Oct. 10, when blue-chip stocks finished at 7,533.95.
The broader market also finished lower. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 12.52, or 1 percent, to 1,307.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 12.82, or 1.5 percent, to 821.99.
General Motors dropped $1.89 to $31.27 and Ford Motor lost 33 cents to $7.74 after Deutsche Bank lowered their stock ratings to "sell" from "hold," citing concerns of falling demand for cars and trucks.
Homebuilders took a hit after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said surging housing sales, one of the economy's few bright spots, might lose momentum this year. Lennar dropped $3.91 to $50.55, and Pulte Homes fell $3.90 to $46.80.
BJ's Wholesale Club dropped $3.26 to $10.34 after the discounter reported a drop in fourth-quarter income and said it expected earnings for the fiscal year to fall below expectations of analysts.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia fell 30 cents to $7.25, after reporting a fourth-quarter loss.
Ahold slid 43 cents to $3.63 after saying it had received subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department amid questions about possible accounting irregularities at the global supermarket-chain owner, whose holdings include Giant Food.

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