June 19, 2008

Dow Takes Brief Dip Below 12,000 Mark

Wall Street sank Wednesday for the second straight day on renewed concerns about the financial sector and FedEx Corp.'s warning that weakening demand and surging fuel costs would weigh on its profits in the coming year.

The Dow Jones industrials finished down 131 points after briefly dipping below the 12,000 mark for the first time since mid-March. All three major stock indexes finished down about 1 percent as oil and bond prices jumped.

Unease about the financial sector arose after several developments. Fifth Third Bancorp said it plans to cut its dividend by nearly two-thirds, raise $1 billion through an offering of preferred stock and generate another $1 billion through the sale of businesses.

MF Global Ltd. predicted that tight credit spreads will weigh on its first-quarter earnings. The futures and options broker said it plans to sell $300 million in convertible securities to help pay down a loan due this year.

And although Morgan Stanley reported a slightly better-than- expected second-quarter profit, earnings at the investment bank were still down 61 percent from a year earlier on declining revenue.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Originally published by BY TIM PARADIS.

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