Stocks Drop Following Quarterly Reports
Thursday, 31 July 2008

AP, NEW YORK -- Stocks retreated Monday, taking the Dow Jones industrials down more than 100 points as investors watching earnings reports and an uptick in oil found little incentive to buy.

Among the latest companies to report, Verizon Communications Inc. said its second-quarter profit rose 12 percent, although revenue came in short of Wall Street's forecasts. Kraft Foods Inc. said higher prices helped offset rising commodity costs and listed second-quarter earnings nearly 4 percent.

Beyond corporate news, investors are waiting to see if oil prices' sharp drop of recent weeks has come to an end, or is just pausing. Light, sweet crude rose 74 cents per barrel to $124 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 104.62, or 0.92 percent, to 11,266.07.

Broader stock indicators fell. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 6.32, or 0.50 percent, to 1,251.44, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 24.98, or 0.30 percent, to 2,291.01.

Financial stocks, which had been higher in early trading Monday, declined, as did tech stocks, which showed strength last week.

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