Stocks fell today as the first-quarter earnings report season began with dismal results and a grim new report confirmed that the housing slump hasn't bottomed out, Bloomberg reports. Washington Mutual, freshly bailed out by TPG, led financials lower after it slashed its dividend 93%. The Dow fell 35.99 to close at 12,576.44, the Nasdaq 16.07 to 2,348.76, and the S&P 500 7.00 to 1,365.54.
Poor reports fueled declines across the board: aluminum giant Alcoa’s earnings fell 54% in Q1, while chip maker AMD reported disappointing revenue and said it would shed 10% of its labor force. Lennar led price drops for all 15 of the S&P’s homebuilders. Investors remain cautious as they await more earnings reports and try to map the outlook for the rest of the year.