US stocks tumble, Circuit City, FedEx among decliners

US stocks tumble, Circuit City, FedEx among decliners


New York: As stocks pulled back after interest-rate enthusiasm waned, Meridian Gold shone, Circuit City Stores short-circuited, and FedEx fell after delivering bad news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 48.86 points, or 0.4%, to 13,766.70 after rising 412.14 points over the last two sessions as investors basked in the central bank’s big rate cut.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on Thursday, 20 September, dropped 10.28, or 0.7%, to 1518.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 12.19, or 0.5%, to 2,654.29. The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index slipped 34.43, or 0.3%, to 9,936.47.

“You had merging concerns today, about oil over $83 a barrel and the price of gold rising, which is a reflection of a weak dollar and inflationary concerns," Sam Rahman, head of North American equities at Baring Asset Management. “It took the shine off of the euphoria of the last couple of days."

Meridian Gold gained 2.08, or 6.4%, to 34.51. Yamana Gold boosted the cash portion of its hostile takeover offer for fellow miner Meridian and cut the level of support needed for the $3.3 billion proposal to go forward amid waning shareholder backing.

Circuit City Stores lost 1.90, or 18%, to 8.67, its lowest level in more than four years as it marked its biggest percentage drop in five and a half years.

The consumer electronics retailer swung to a wider-than -expected fiscal second-quarter loss, highlighting its struggles to update stores and hold onto sales amid the shining of rival Best Buy, which on Tuesday posted better -than-expected quarterly earnings and raised full-year earnings guidance.

With the drop, Circuit City assumed small-cap status, with a market-capitalization of $1.46 billion, below the $1.5 billion cut-off this column uses to gauge whether a stock is large or small.

FedEx lost 3.06, or 2.8%, to 104.45. The package -delivery giant posted a 4% increase in fiscal first-quarter earnings, topping Wall Street expectations, but warned that a soft U.S. economy will weigh on its performance for the rest of the fiscal year.

Carnival was buoyed by a rise of 1.23, or 2.6%, to 48.53. The cruise ship operator posted a 12% rise in third -quarter pretax profit, despite higher fuel costs eating into margins, and will increase its share-buyback program by $422 million, to $1 billion.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 1.27 billion shares. Down volume exceeded up by 888 million to 374 million, and stocks that fell in value exceeded those that rose by 2,337 to 986.