- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wall Street posted losses Tuesday for a second straight day, cooling a record four-week rally ahead of potentially bad reports on corporate earnings.

The major markets were down more than 2 percent in light trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 186.29 points, to close at 7,789.56. The Standard and Poor’s 500-stocks Index closed at 815.54, down 19.94 points, and the NASDAQ was down 45.10 points, to 1,561.61.

Analysts attributed the selling to investors taking profits from the March gains. The Dow opened Monday on its best four-week run since 1933 and above the 8,000 mark for the first time since early February. Major stock indexes are still up roughly 20 percent from 12-year lows in early March.

Alcoa, a major U.S. aluminum manufacturer, will be the first component in the Dow to post first-quarter earnings. Analysts expect losses but are optimistic they will not be higher than anticipated and begin a downward trend for markets. The report will be released after U.S. markets close at 4 p.m. EDT.

The losses Tuesday were across the markets, from financial to technology stocks.

The markets, which will be closed Good Friday, opened Tuesday following losses in overseas markets and stock futures.

Dow futures dropped 95 points, to 7,821. S & P futures were at 818.20, down 12.20 points, and NASDAQ futures dropped 18.25 points, to 1,293.75.

In overseas trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 was at 3,929.06, down 64.48 points. Germany’s DAX was down 46.92 points, to 4,302.89, and France’s CAC 40 was at 2,890.43, down 39.32 points.

U.S. markets have made gains in recent weeks, amid upbeat economic reports, including a National Association of Realtors report last week that stated pending home sales rebounded in February from a record low, signaling the worst of the global recession might be over.

However, the Dow closed Monday at 7,975.85, down 41.74, ending a four-day run amid concerns about the earnings reports and disappointment over IBM Corp.’s $7 billion deal to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. stalling. The S& P closed at 835.48, and the NASDAQ dropped to 1,606.71.

Investors also were concerned about the Treasury Department this week extending the application deadline to purchase toxic assets. The new April 24 deadline to attract more investors is being interpreted as a sign the program could be in trouble.


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