Worrying stats help pull Wall Street lower

WALL Street stocks fell yesterday, hit by signs the Eurozone crisis is worsening and evidence that Europe’s slowdown is hurting US companies, including bellwether UPS.

The decline was the third straight for the S&P 500 index, which tested its 50-day moving average, a technical support level that could trigger more selling if convincingly broken.

United Parcel Service, seen by many as a proxy for economic activity, fell 4.6 per cent after reporting quarterly results that missed forecasts and cut its 2012 outlook, citing uncertain global economic conditions. UPS helped pull the Dow Jones Transportation average down 1.2 per cent.

“We are going through an adjustment period where there has been a lot of talk about Europe facing a recession in 2012. Now we are actually seeing it in the earnings and the market is reacting to that,” said Gail Dudack, chief investment strategist at Dudack Research Group.

AT&T lost 2.1 per cent after the company reduced its outlook for business services this year. The S&P telecom index dropped 1.8 per cent.

Whirlpool slumped 7.5 per cent after the world’s largest appliance maker missed Wall Street’s expectations for quarterly earnings and sales, hurt by weak demand in Europe and a stronger dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 104.14 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 12,617.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 12.21 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 1,338.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 27.16 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 2,862.99.