The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 279 points Wednesday as the economic reports -- which have been weakening for weeks -- could not be denied.
Manufacturing dropped sharply. The ADP employment report made investors nervous about the unemployment report that arrives in a couple of days. According to the report, companies added 38,000 workers in May, or only about a quarter of what economists were expecting.
TickerCompanySectorPriceReportEPS BeatRevBeat PAYVerifone Systems IncTechnology55.225/26/2011100%87.50%MWIVMWI Veterinary SupplyHealth Care79.545/6/2011100%75%TELTE ConnectivityTechnology34.774/21/2011100%100%OVTIOmnivision TechnologiesTechnology31.55/27/2011100%87.50%PPSPost Properties IncFinancials38.055/2/201187.50%100%NDSNNordson CorpIndustrials55.255/20/201187.50%87.50%VRXValeant PharmaceuticalsHealth Care52.755/6/201187.50%75%GNTXGentex CorpCons. Discret.27.154/21/201175%87.50%ALGNAlign TechnologyHealth Care21.074/20/201185.70%100%ADIAnalog DevicesTechnology37.85/18/2011100%87.50%BIDUBaidu IncTechnology144.774/28/2011100%87.50%FOSLFossil IncCons. Discret.94.325/10/2011100%75%MTDMettler-ToledoHealth Care172.465/4/2011100%75%TPXTempur-PedicCons. Discret.58.54/21/2011100%75%HMINHome Inns & Hotel ADRCons. Disret.41.675/11/201187.50%100%POWIPower IntegrationsTechnology36.635/2/201187.50%87.50%FFIVF5 NetworksTechnology96.264/20/201187.50%75%HITTHittite MicrowaveTechnology61.994/28/201187.50%75%VSHVishay IntertechnologyTechnology17.965/3/201187.50%75%GIIIG-III Apparel GroupCons. Discret.37.596/7/201187.50%75%WFMIWhole Foods MarketCons. Staples64.65/4/201187.50%75%
The bad news has been creeping up on investors for a couple of months. I noted in early May that stock market volume was light and mentioned that declines in commodities provided an early sign that all was not right. Wall Street strategists started guiding their clients away from the cyclical stocks, or companies that depend on a strong economy, about a month ago. They were suggesting defensive areas like health care, which did hold up better than the Dow Jones Industrial average Wednesday, but did drop 1.4 percent compared to the Dow's 2.2 percent decline.
How bad was this market plunge? The market remains up 78 percent since the March 2009 low. But Wednesday's 2.28 percent drop in the Standard & Poor's 500 was the worst since last summer's 2.82 percent decline on August 11. Here's Standard & Poor's analyst Howard Silverblatt's list of other rough days in the market.
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