Stocks Fall on Dismal Earnings

Housing data, WaMu bailout not helping investor confidence
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 3:38 PM CDT
Alcoa Warrick Operations employee Fred Westbrook inspects the finished rolls of aluminum in a file photo from April 7, 2006 at the Alcoa Warrick Operations in Newburgh, Ind.   (AP Photo/ Daniel R. Patmore, File)
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(Newser) – 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.