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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Stocks' Drop Is 2012 Worst


Stocks suffered their biggest declines this year, losing ground for the fifth-straight session, as worries over rising borrowing costs for European countries weighed on sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 213.66 points, or 1.7%, to 12715.93, its largest point and percentage decline since November. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dropped 23.61 points, or 1.7%, to 1358.59, the biggest tumble since December. The Nasdaq Composite lost 55.86 points, or 1.8%, to 2991.22, falling for the fourth time in five trading days.

Stocks have slumped over the last week after concluding their best first quarter in more than a decade. The Dow has shed 4.1% over its five-session slump, while the S&P 500 has lost 4.3%.

Declines started a week ago, after investors interpreted minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy-setting meeting to mean that no additional monetary stimulus is on the way soon. A poorly received Spanish bond auction last Wednesday and disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday also weighed on markets.

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