Stocks: Down, Down, Down; Worst Start Since 1982

DJIA graphThree weeks of declining stocks, fueled by rising oil prices and the ailing dollar. So far the gains since the November election haven’t been wiped out, but it’s looking like the dam is about to burst. Bloomberg reports in U.S. Stocks Drop on Oil Prices; Dow Average Erases 2004 Advance:

The Dow average has dropped 3.6 percent this year after gaining 3.2 percent in 2004. The benchmark fell 1.6 percent this week, while the Nasdaq slid 2.6 percent. The last time they started a year with three weeks of declines was 1982.

[…] “Everybody’s just got to get their outlooks readjusted,” said Joseph Williams, who helps manage $5 billion at Commerce Trust Co. in Kansas City, Missouri. “Investors were pretty optimistic going into January and it really hasn’t strengthened as much as people thought. Now everybody’s worried `Well, how much is the economy slowing down and are earnings weaker?”’

Looks like the bear is back with a vengeance and this time he’s got some claws.

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