'Difficult' Dow Ends Down 358
Oil surges past $140 as dollar weakens, financials downgraded
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2008 3:37 PM CDT
This undated file photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska Image Library shows a polar bear. Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species because of global warming,...   (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Stocks plunged today due to the convergence of bad news across all sectors of industry against the backdrop of oil’s first surge over $140 a barrel, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow plummeted to a 2-year-low, shedding 358.41 to 11,453.42. The Nasdaq fell 79.89, settling at 2,321.37, and the S&P 500 fell 38.82 to close at 1,283.15.

Analysts said that the Fed’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged was weakening the dollar, which in turn sent oil and other dollar-denominated commodities higher. "Unless something dramatic changes, either at the Fed or in housing or we get some relief from higher energy prices, there's no reason to believe this dynamic will not continue," one noted. "This is a difficult environment. The lines of least resistance are down, not up."