Job, Housing Woes Sink Stocks

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2009 8:53 AM CST
Traders gather at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Stocks headed south this morning, following worse-than-expected housing and job data. Jobless claims rose by 62,000 last week, and housing starts slid 15.5%, to their slowest pace on record. The Dow sunk 144 points, accompanied by an 18-point decline in the S&P. A strong quarter from Apple initially lifted Nasdaq futures, but news that Microsoft is slashing 5,000 jobs sent the tech-heavy index down 45 points.

Apple shares rose 8% premarket, while Microsoft, which reported a 11% quarterly drop just before the bell, fell 7%. EBay likewise slid 7% after reporting a 31% third-quarter earnings drop.