Business, Economics and Jobs

US stocks: Worst week so far this year


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 10, 2012.


Spencer Platt

The US stock market has ended its worst week so far this year, posting its biggest weekly decline of 2012.

This week, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.61 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 1.99 percent and the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.25 percent, CNN reported.

US stocks declined today on news that China’s economy slowed down in the first quarter of the year, Dow Jones Newswires reported. China reported gross domestic product rose 8.1 percent, less than the 8.9 percent of the quarter before and also less that forecasts that it would grow 8.3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 136.99 points, or 1.05 percent, to close at 12,849.59 today. The S&P 500 declined 17.31 points, or 1.25 percent, to 1,370.26. And the Nasdaq dropped 44.22 points, or 1.45 percent, to end the day at 3,011.33.

The S&P 500 has lost 3.4 percent since it closed at a nearly four-year high on April 2, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

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Investors also had new reasons to worry about Europe as borrowing costs rose there, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Higher borrowing costs may force governments to cut spending, Bloomberg Businessweek noted.

"You can't have growth if you have too much austerity. I think that's what the fear is," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

European markets decreased broadly. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 2.2 percent and Spain's IBEX 35 lost 3.6 percent to end the day at a three-year low, Dow Jones Newswires reported. Asian markets mostly rose, with China’s Shanghai Composite increasing 0.4 percent and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rising 1.2 percent.

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