The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Business & Technology

December 12, 2013

Stocks slump following disappointing earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sagged Wednesday as investors assessed weak earnings reports from several U.S. companies.

Health care stocks had some of the biggest declines. Laboratory Corporation of America slumped after cutting its full-year earnings forecast. Quest Diagnostics, a major competitor, also dropped.

The broader stock market also fell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has fallen six out of eight days in December, leaving it down 1 percent for the month.

The S&P 500 index fell 14 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,788 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. The index is on track for its biggest one-day drop in a month.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 78 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,894. The Nasdaq composite fell 42 points, or 1 percent, to 4,017.

In commodities trading, the price of oil fell $1.07, or 1.1 percent, to $97.44 a barrel.

Gold fell $3.90, or 0.3 percent, to $1,257.20 an ounce.

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