Housing, Labor Pummel Stocks

Bleak economic reports and some poor earnings make for steady losses
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2008 3:29 PM CDT
A Washington Mutual home loan center is seen in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007.    (AP Photo/Marcus R. Donner)
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(Newser) – Stocks saw big losses today as bad news on housing and employment soured investors’ hopes of a looming economic turnaround, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow fell 283.10—a 2.43% drop—to close at 11,349.28; the Nasdaq shed 45.77, to 2,280.11; and the S&P 500 lost 29.65, closing at 1,252.54.

The National Assocation of Realtors reported a 2.6% drop in existing-home sales, more than double what analysts expected. “No question, we had a few years where the housing market and the mortgage market went amok,” one trader said. “Now we've been paying the price.” The Labor Department also chimed in, saying unemployment claims hit a 3-year high, jumping 34,000 to 406,000 last week.