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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dow Jones Drops Over 300 points ....

U.S. markets dropped sharply on Thursday as investor anxiety over a euro zone bailout mixed with pessimism over proposed financial regulations and a surprise jump in new jobless claims. New claims increased last week by the largest number in three months, according to the Labor Department, while an index of leading indicators on the economy dipped in April, the first time the figure has declined in more than a year.Higher unemployment claims, regulation reforms and euro troubles contribute to Dow's slide.

Stock market losses were widespread with the blue chips like General Electric ( GE - news - people ) down 5.8% and McDonald's ( MCD - news - people ) off 2.5%. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 376 points, or 3.6%, to 10,068 while the S&P fell 43 points, or 3.9%, to 1,072. The Nasdaq lagged with a drop of 94 points, or 4.1%, to end at 2,204.Financial shares took a big hit thanks to uncertainty over proposed legislation that would overhaul regulation of the markets and lending institutions. On Wednesday Senate Republicans pushed to delay passage of the sweeping bill. On Thursday the Senate ended debate, which could move passage forward, but Citigroup ( C - news - people ) shares fell 4.7% while Bank of America ( BAC - news - people ) lost 6.2%. (See "Senate Votes To Vote On Wall Street Reform.")Get Cash From Your Settlement Today with Strutured Settllement Investments

Shares of office supply retailer Staples ( SPLS - news - people ) fell 0.7% despite quarterly earnings that grew by almost a third. The firm also raised its forecast. (See "Staples Pushes The Easy Button For Profits.")

After the closing bell software maker Intuit ( INTU - news - people ) beat analyst estimates with earnings of $1.89 a share for the quarter. That wasn't enough to halt an after-hours slide in the firm's shares, down 4.5% on top of a 5.1% regular session loss.Shop the Official FIFA Online Store

In retailing, clothing chain Aeropostale ( ARO - news - people ) saw its shares rise 1.6% in late trading, reversing a regular session loss, thanks to earnings of 48 cents a share, 2 cents better than Wall Street's predictions. Sneaker seller Foot Locker ( FL - news - people ) got a 6% bounce after beating Wall Street estimates while The Gap ( GPS - news - people ) lost 1.6% despite better-than-expected profits.
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