Financials Push Dow Off 65

US industrial output falls for November
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2008 3:24 PM CST
In this Oct. 6, 2008 file photo, traders work on the New York Stock Exchange floor.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew/FILE)
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(Newser) – Stocks lost value today as investors await tomorrow’s meeting of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate committee, and digested various bits of bad news on financial firms and manufacturing, MarketWatch reports. The Dow fell 65.15 to 8,564.53. The Nasdaq lost 32.38, closing at 1,508.34, while the S&P 500 lost 11.16 to settle at 868.57.

JP Morgan Chase led financials lower after a downgrade by a Merrill Lynch analyst, falling 7.3%. Bank of America fell 5.4% after firing 20 powerful executives. A Fed report detailed a 0.6% decline in US manufacturing activity for November, signaling continued economic weakness. “The manufacturing sector is flat on its back,” one analyst tells the Wall Street Journal. “This was a very weak report and clearly shows that firms are adjusting rapidly and sharply to the economic slowdown.”