US Stocks Fall Wednesday And For 2Q, Snap 4-Quarter Winning Streak
By Donna Kardos
June 30, 2010, 4:58 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks fell Wednesday in the final session of the second quarter as a report on private-sector jobs disappointed investors and Moody’s warned that it may cut its credit rating on Spain. Alcoa, Walt Disney and Hewlett-Packard were among the decliners.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 96.28 points, or 0.98%, to 9774.02. The Dow fell 3.58% this month, its second-consecutive monthly drop. For the quarter, it tumbled 9.97%, breaking a streak of four quarterly gains and marking the measure’s worst second-quarter since 2002.
Alcoa was the Dow’s worst performer in the quarter with a 29% drop. The aluminum giant was also the Dow’s worst performer Wednesday with a slide of 28 cents, or 2.7%, to 10.06. Not far behind it, Walt Disney declined 80 cents, or 2.5%, to 31.50, and H-P slid 1.02, or 2.3%, to 43.28.
3M was the only Dow component that managed to end Wednesday’s session in the black, as the industrial giant was lifted by a better-than-expected report on Chicago-area manufacturing. 3M eked out a gain of 50 cents, or 0.6%, to 78.99.
The Nasdaq Composite lost 25.94, or 1.21%, to 2109.24. The measure fell 6.55% this month and dropped 12.04% in the second quarter, its worst quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2008.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 10.53, or 1.01%, to 1030.71, on Wednesday, reaching a fresh 2010 closing low. All of the measure’s sectors ended the session in negative territory, with the technology sector hit the hardest while industrials lagged.
For June, the S&P 500 fell 5.39%. The consumer-discretionary sector was the S&P 500’s worst performer this month.
The materials sector had the biggest percentage decline for the quarter. Anadarko Petroleum had the biggest percentage decline among the measure’s 500 components this quarter; it slid 50%, weighed down by the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and the resulting oil spill.
Wednesday’s stock declines came as a report from Automatic Data Processing showed private-sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 13,000 last month, less than the gain of 60,000 jobs expected by economists.
“Investors were really taken aback by that ADP report,” said Tyler Vernon, principal and portfolio manager at Biltmore Capital Advisors. For the government’s monthly nonfarm payrolls report due Friday, Vernon said, “investors now are expecting bad news and they’re just [hoping] for less-bad news. The psyche has really changed from where it was just a couple weeks ago.”
Also weighing on market sentiment, Moody’s Investors Service put Spain’s Aaa credit rating on review for a possible downgrade, citing flagging economic prospects, challenging fiscal targets and rising funding costs.