February 20, 2009

U.S. markets push to new lows

The bear market dug in deeper Friday after U.S. and foreign markets fell to new lows for two consecutive trading sessions.

The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed its Nov. 20 bear market low Thursday and closed lower Friday, as turmoil in financial firms and economic weakness showed no signs of abating.

By close Friday, the Dow had shed 100.28 points, or 1.34 percent, to 7,365.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 1.14 percent, 8.89 points, to 770.05. The Nasdaq composite index lost 1.59 points, 0.11 percent, to 1,441.23.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 766 stocks advanced and 2,341 declined on a volume of 6.5 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose 18/32 to yield 2.79 percent.

The euro rose to $1.2828, compared to Thursday's $1.2656. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 93.23 yen, down from Thursday's 94.32 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average lost 141.27 points to 7,416.38, down 1.87 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index dropped 3.22 percent, 129.31 points, to 3,889.06.