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U.S. stocks tanked Friday as lower-than-estimated profit forecasts at American Express Co. and Tiffany & Co. heightened concern that the economy is shrinking and sent the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its worst start since 1982.

Markets: U.S. stocks tanked Friday as lower-than-estimated profit forecasts at American Express Co. and Tiffany & Co. heightened concern that the economy is shrinking and sent the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its worst start since 1982. Adding to the bearish sentiment is the arrival of quarterly earnings reports with investors fretting about how banks and brokerages have fared after suffering massive losses in the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. Traders appeared to grow more pessimistic ahead of reports due this week from the nation's biggest financial institutions. Merrill Lynch & Co., Citigroup Inc., and JP Morgan Chase & Co. are slated to weigh in this week. Also fueling the unease, Merrill Lynch might take a hit of $15 billion from its exposure to soured subprime mortgage investments, according to The New York Times. The nation's largest brokerage is also said to be seeking another capital infusion to shore up its balance sheet.

The jittery atmosphere left the Dow Jones industrial average with a weekly loss of 193.88, or 1.51%, to 12606.30. The S&P 500 fell 0.75% and the Nasdaq Composite slid 2.58%. The Dow is down 4.96% for the year, the S&P is off 4.59%, and the Nasdaq has lost 8.01%.
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Title Annotation:Markets
Publication:MondayMorning
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 14, 2008
Words:211
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