DEVELOPING STORY: Stocks Tumble Test

Friday, January 23rd 2009, 12:13 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Wall Street is staging another big retreat as corporate earnings reports fall short of estimates and the British economy officially slipped into a recession.

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The Dow Jones industrial average is down 210 at 7912 in the opening minutes of trading Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is off 21 at 806 and the Nasdaq composite index is down 24 at 1,440.

Many companies continue to report weak quarterly results. Samsung Electronics posted its first-ever quarterly loss. Xerox's profits fell short of analysts' expectations amid weakening sales.

General Electric's results met analysts' expectations, but its profit was at the low end of the company's previous outlook.

Meanwhile, the British government says the country's economy shrank 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, after contracting in the third quarter. That's another sign that the recession is spreading around the world.