Stocks Fall on Economic Reports
Two-day rally quashed, ending July on a sour note
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 3:19 PM CDT
Traders gather at the post that trades Merrill Lynch on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before the closing bell Tuesday July 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Stocks fell today as worrying economic reports put an end to a 2-day rally, MarketWatch reports. Financials slipped, and energy stocks took a hit as Exxon’s record profit failed to meet analysts' expectations and crude prices continued to fall. The Dow dropped 204.69 to 11,379.00. The Nasdaq, relatively insulated from financials and energy, fell only 4.17 to 2,325.55, while the S&P 500 tumbled 16.86 to close at 1,267.40.

The Commerce Department said US GDP rose 1.9% in the second quarter, below the 2.3% economists had forecast. The Labor Department said jobless claims increased 44,000 to 448,000 last week after most economists predicted a slight decline. "The data were a little disturbing,” said one analyst. “The general feeling is that now the tax stimulus is gone, what comes next?"

  • For July, the Dow gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq 1.4%, while the S&P 500 fell 1%