Dow Enters Bear Market

Nasdaq also falls more than 20% from its high
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 3:33 PM CDT
A floor trader at the New York Stock Exchange watches a television interview with former NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso, Wednesday, July 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Skidding stocks sent the Dow and Nasdaq into bear territory as oil hit a record near $144 a barrel, the Wall Street Journal reports. Besides oil, bad news from GM and weak jobs data darkened the street’s mood. The Dow fell 166.75 points to 11,215.51, down 20.8% from its record high in October. A drop of 20% is the traditional threshold for a bear market. The Nasdaq fell 53.51 points to 2,251.46, and the S&P 500 fell 23.38 points to 1,261.53.

GM plummeted 15% after Merrill Lynch analysts downgraded its stock and said bankruptcy was possible. ADP reported that private-sector firms cut 79,000 jobs last month, the most since November 2002. "As long as oil is going higher every day, it's difficult to say that we will hit a bottom,'' said one analyst.