Stocks Slammed Again on Credit Fears

Stocks tumbled again Friday on growing credit market fears after a Bear Stearns executive said the current fixed income market turmoil is among the worst of the last two decades.

Stocks were already struggling under the weight of a weaker than expected jobs report when the comments from Bear CFO Sam Molinaro hit the wires shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern, sending stocks sharply lower for the rest of the trading session.

With the pending bankruptcy of American Home Mortgage and an economy that added only 92,000 jobs last month — 43,000 less than expected — investors had plenty of reason to worry that the subprime mortgage fallout could drag the rest of the economy into a recession.

Network Appliance led the tech sector lower, plunging 20% after warning that its results will come in below Wall Street estimates.

Maxim , GSI , BigBand Networks , Multi-Fineline and Silicon Image were other earnings decliners, while Activision and Audible gained on their results.

The Nasdaq tumbled 64 to 2511, the S&P 500 fell 39 to 1433, and the Dow plunged 281 to 13,181. Volume rose to 4.71 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.61 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led by a 27-5 margin on the NYSE, and 24-6 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 94% on the NYSE, and 88% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 48-394 on the NYSE, and 77-391 on the Nasdaq.

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