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US stocks drop; Dow loses 0.52%

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US stocks ended lower overnight with the Dow 0.52 per cent lower.

The Dow lost 68.94 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 13,710.19.

The Nasdaq dropped 4.17 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 3074.15.

The S&P 500 was 4.23 points, or 0.3 per cent, lower to 1405.52.

Privately-owned housing starts fell 1.1 per cent, according to the US Department of Commerce. Building permits increased 5.1 per cent.

In news, BHP Billion said iron ore prices are flattening due to slower Chinese economic growth outlook, but there were different interpretations of the news. BHP Billiton shares fell US$2.50, or 3.31 per cent, to US$73.01.

To earnings, Tiffany reported net income of US$178 million, or US$1.39 per share, down from US$181 million, or US$1.41 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Worldwide net sales were up eight per cent to US$1.2 billion. Shares gained US$4.59, or 6.68 per cent, to US$73.27.

Adobe reported earnings a day earlier. Shares overnight lost US$1.35, or 3.91 per cent, to US$33.16.

Yesterday in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 15.8 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 4275 and the All Ords was 15.6 points, or 0.36 per cent, lower to 4365.6.

Oil this morning was at US$105.61 per barrel and gold was at US$1650.70 per ounce. The Australian dollar was buying 104.74 US cents, 66.05 pence Sterling, 79.21 euro cents and 87.65 Japanese yen. 

Published on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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