August 11, 2009

U.S. markets drop Tuesday

U.S. markets headed lower for the second consecutive trading session Tuesday, despite a jump in productivity and a sharp fall in labor costs.

U.S. non-farm industries are squeezing more production from workers with fewer dollars spent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Productivity in the second quarter rose 6.4 percent on an annual basis, while unit labor costs fell 5.8 percent, the bureau said.

Bank of America shares fell 3.84 percent after a federal judge Monday rejected a $33 million fine based on the bank's deception of shareholders on bonus pay when it purchased Merrill Lynch in January. The Securities and Exchange Commission settlement was unreasonably small given the size of the deal, Judge Jed Rakoff said.

In early-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 106.10 points, or 1.14 percent, to 9,231.85. The S&P 500 index lost 1.37 percent -- 13.75 points -- to 993.35. The Nasdaq index shed 27.68 points, or 1.39 percent, to 1,964.56.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 16/32 to yield 3.711 percent.

The euro rose to $1.457, compared with Monday's $1.414. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 95.83 yen from Monday's 97.10 yen.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index added 61.20 points, 0.58 percent, to 10,585.46.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 index lost 50.86 points, 1.08 percent, to 4,671.34.