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U.S. stocks fell, joining a global slump, as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte offered to quit after lawmakers split over austerity plans and French President Nicolas Sarkozy lost the first round of his re-election bid.
Equities from Hong Kong to Paris and Sao Paulo slumped as the Dutch prime minister offered his cabinet’s resignation today after losing the Freedom Party’s support over the weekend on disagreements about an austerity package. French President Sarkozy and challenger Francois Hollande threw themselves into the second round of election, vying to lead a country split over tackling immigration and ending a sovereign debt crisis.
Concern about the global economy grew as euro-area services and manufacturing declined more than estimated, while data indicated China’s production will contract for a sixth month.
Dow 12,892.16 -137.10 -1.05%, Nasdaq 2,965.88 -34.57 -1.15%, S&P 500 1,364.68 -13.85 -1.00%
American banks joined a 3 percent drop in a gauge of European lenders. Bank of America (ВАС) declined 2 percent to $8.19. Citigroup decrease 2.3 percent to $33.11.
Wal-Mart (WMT) slumped 4.9 percent, the most in the Dow, to $59.38. Its probe of possible bribery in Mexico may prompt executive departures and steep U.S. government fines if it reveals senior managers knew about the payments and didn’t take strong enough action, corporate governance experts said.
Kellogg tumbled 5.4 percent to $51.08. Earnings per share, including the impact of its acquisition of Pringles potato chips, will be $3.18 to $3.30 for the year, the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said today in a statement. Kellogg previously predicted $3.25 to $3.37 a share. Analysts projected $3.48, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Apple Inc., which reports results tomorrow, dropped 0.6 percent to $569.69. On average, the analysts estimate fiscal second-quarter earnings of $9.96 a share.
Xerox Corp. added 1.9 percent to $8.02. The provider of printers and business services reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates after businesses and governments farmed out more tasks to cut costs.
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