Stocks Plunge on Retail, Financial Fear

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2009 8:53 AM CST
Jonathan Romero Jr, a specialist trader for Bear Wagner, eyes financial charts and data on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday Jan. 2, 2009.    (AP Photos/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – Stocks tumbled at the open today, in the wake of a retail sales report that drastically missed estimates. The Dow dove 157 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P dropped 1.5% and 2.1% respectively. Sales fell 2.7%, more than twice the 1.2% economists predicted. Nortel Networks, meanwhile, shot down 76% after reports broke that it was filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Every sector of the S&P fell, but financials were especially hard hit, falling 5% on a raft of grim tidings, including Deutsche Bank’s warning that it would post a $6.33 billion loss, and HSBC’s announcement that it would seek capital and slash its dividend. “There are no hiding places, even for good banks,” said one S&P Equity Research rep.