Obama’s 5 ½ week presidency sending chill through the market
A late burst of selling sealed a dismal finish for the stock market, which hit a fresh 12-year low on Friday as Citigroup sold a bigger chunk of itself to the government and General Electric slashed its dividend, spooking investors who were already jittery, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal..
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 119.15 points, or 1.7%, to end at 7062.93. The blue-chip benchmark ended down 937.93 points, or 11.72% on the month — the worst percentage drop for February since 1933, when it fell 15.62%. The Dow industrials have fallen six months in a row and are now more than 50% off their record highs hit in October of 2007.
The S&P 500 fell 17.74 points, or 2.4%, to 735.09. Its financial sector dropped 6.5% and its health-care sector sank 4% on fears that President Barack Obama’s reform plans will carve into the profits of drug makers and insurers. The S&P is off 53% from its October 2007 peak and has now seen its worst six-month drop in percentage terms — 42.7% — since 1932, when it dropped 45.44% in the six months ending in June.