Stocks Drop At Open

Everyone’s worried about earnings.

Bloomberg: U.S. stocks fell for a second day, led by energy producers and retailers, as oil’s decline below $60 a barrel and lower-than-estimated earnings at Starbucks Corp. spurred concern that the economic slump is deepening.

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. slumped more than 2 per cent as oil declined on forecasts of slower demand growth. Starbucks Corp. slid 2.6 per cent after the world’s biggest chain of coffee shops predicted slowing sales and backed away from expansion plans. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. told clients to sell shares of Prudential Financial Inc., the second-biggest U.S. life insurer, pushing the stock down 12 per cent.

…The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 2 per cent to 900.54 at 9:38 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 163.76 points, or 1.9 per cent, to 8,706.78, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.6 per cent to 1,591.45.

Financials and raw material producers led the S&P 500 to a 39 per cent retreat this year as profits for the world’s biggest banks slumped and commodities tumbled. Credit Suisse lowered its mid-2009 target for the S&P 500 to 1,050 from 1,200.

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