October 1, 2009

U.S. markets fall early Thursday

U.S. markets turned sharply lower at the opening bell Thursday after closing out the third quarter in the previous session with encouraging returns.

The third quarter ended with the Dow Jones industrial average up 15 percent from three months ago, the best quarter in 11 years. The Standard & Poor's 500 also gained 15 percent in the past 3 months.

The DJIA is finding the 10,000-point barrier elusive, however. The index closed above 9,840 points on Sept. 23, the closest it has come to a close above 10,000 points since Oct. 5, 2008.

In midmorning trading Thursday, the DJIA lost 102.41 points, 1.05 percent, to 9,609.87. The S&P 500 lost 1.25 percent, 13.18 points, to 1,043.90. The Nasdaq index lost 1.58 percent, 33.56 points, to 2,088.86.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 15/32 to yield 3.252 percent.

The euro fell to $1.455 from Wednesday's $1.4634. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 89.63 yen from Wednesday's 89.77 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.53 percent, 154.59 points, to 9,978.64, closing below 10,000 for the first time since late July.