Stocks fall on European unrest

Stocks saw considerable weakness during trading on Wednesday, adding to the steep losses posted in the previous session. Lingering concerns about the financial situation in Europe continued to weigh on the markets along with a negative reaction to U.S. housing data.

Housing stocks moved sharply lower on the heels of the new home sales report, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 3 percent. With the loss, the index pulled back further off the nearly five-year closing high it set last Friday.

M/I Homes (MHO) and Meritage Homes (MTH) posted particularly steep losses within the housing sector, tumbling by 8 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Oil service stocks also moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 2 percent. The weakness in the sector came as the price of crude oil extended a recent downward move, closing below $90 a barrel.

Significant weakness was also visible among electronic storage stocks, as reflected by the 1.6 percent loss posted by the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index.

Networking, software, and biotechnology stocks also posted notable losses on the day, while tobacco and trucking stocks bucked the downtrend.

The major averages ended the day firmly in negative territory, although the Dow posted a relatively modest loss. The Dow slipped 44.04 points or 0.3 percent to 13,413.51, while the Nasdaq fell 24.03 points or 0.8 percent to 3,093.70 and the S&P 500 slid 8.27 points or 0.6 percent to 1,433.32.(RTT News)

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