Better than expected results from Google and AMD couldn’t overcome a dire warning from Caterpillar that sent stocks plunging on the 20th anniversary of the 1987 stock market crash.
Caterpillar said many of the industries it serves are already in recession, and said it expects the U.S. economy to fade in the coming months. The Dow component’s comments sent the major stock indexes to losses of more than 2.5%, their worst showing since the summer swoon over credit market fears.
The news also overshadowed another stellar quarter from Google, which saw its shares gain 0.8% on the day.
But AMD’s better than expected sales were little help for its stock, which sank 5% amid worries about ongoing losses.
SanDisk tumbled 15% despite beating estimates, as traders fretted about pricing and margin concerns.
Cybersource and Informatica gained on their earnings reports on a day that saw volume and breadth overwhelmingly to the downside.
The earnings parade will continue next week, with quarterly earnings reports due from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Motorola, among others.
The Nasdaq fell 74 to 2725, the S&P tumbled 39 to 1500, and the Dow plunged 366 to 13,522. Volume rose to 4.1 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.42 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 27-5 margin on the NYSE, and 25-4 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 95% on the NYSE, and 92% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 74-176 on the NYSE, and 73-201 on the Nasdaq.