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Weak earnings spur sell-off on Wall Street

October 23, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York.
On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. (Scott Eells / Bloomberg…)

NEW YORK -- Investors continued a broad sell-off midway through the trading day as blue-chip companies reported disappointing earnings and offered dimmer outlooks for global growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 226 points, or 1.7%, to 13,120, a level not seen since early September.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 21 points, 1.4%, to 1,413. The Nasdaq was off 17 points, or 0.6%, to 3,000.

Among major comapnies to report weak third-quarter earnings was chemical giant DuPont Co. The company's profit fell to $10 million, or 1 cent a share, down from $452 million, or 48 cents,  from the same period a year ago.

DuPont's stock lost $4.34, or nearly 9%, to $45.42, dragging the Dow lower.

Meanwhile, United Technologies Corp., supplier of technology to the building and aerospace industries, said its profit fell 3% in the third quarter, compared to the same period a year ago.

UTC's chairman and chief executive, Louis ChĂȘnevert, said the company expected lower sales this year, citing "the lack of recovery in the commercial aerospace aftermarket and continued uncertainty in the global economy."

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