The Associated Press May 12, 2011, 10:19AM ET

Stocks fall for second day as commodities slide

Stocks are falling early Thursday as oil, metals and other commodities continue to slide.

Crude oil is trading below $97 a barrel Thursday morning, down nearly 2 percent. A report from the International Energy Agency said demand for oil would be lower than previously expected.

Silver dropped more than 6 percent, extending a deep slide from $48.60 at the end of April.

Oil and gas futures dropped sharply Wednesday, pushing stocks lower, after a government report showed demand for gasoline fell by the largest amount in seven weeks.

Cisco Systems Inc. fell 5 percent in early trading, the largest drop among companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The company said earnings slid 18 percent and lowered its earnings forecast. It plans to eliminate jobs to cut costs.

The government released reports on unemployment benefits, wholesale prices and retail sales before the stock market opened. The Labor Department said applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 434,000, after surging the previous week. Economists expected a slightly bigger drop in unemployment claims.

Retail sales rose for the 10th straight month in April, but much of the gain came from surging gasoline prices. Excluding the 2.7 percent jump in gasoline sales, retail sales rose just 0.2 percent.

Higher energy costs also pushed wholesale prices up 0.8 percent in April. That marked the seventh month in a row that companies had to pay more for raw materials.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 47 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,583. The S&P 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,338. The Nasdaq composite index fell 4, or 0.1 percent, to 2,841.


BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!