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Archive for Saturday, July 24, 2004

Dow drops on disappointing earnings reports

July 24, 2004

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— Wall Street skidded further Friday, sending the Dow Jones industrials back below 10,000 as disappointments from Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. deepened investors' dread of a second-half earnings slump.

All three indexes ended the week lower for the fourth straight week, as investors sold stocks across all sectors and industries, with technology and consumer staples taking the brunt of the selloff. The Nasdaq composite index fell to its lowest point of the year.

The drop was triggered by lower-than-expected earnings from Microsoft -- a rare miss that unnerved investors. And Wall Street saw Amazon.com's lower-than-expected earnings and revenues as a potential sign that consumer spending was slowing.

Combined with economic data that has pointed to what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan called a "soft spot" in the economic recovery, the week was a brutal one throughout the markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88.11, or 0.9 percent, to 9,962.22.

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