A trader looks up at monitor while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Oct. 15, 2008. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg News
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks plunged the most since the crash of 1987, hammered by the biggest drop in retail sales in three years and growing doubt that plans to bail out banks will keep the economic slump from deepening.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. tumbled more than 12 percent as commodity prices declined on concern the slowing economy will hurt demand. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. retreated 8 percent after the Commerce Department said purchases at chain stores decreased 1.2 percent last month. Morgan Stanley lost 16 percent after Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney said the government’s bank rescue is not a “panacea” solution.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank 90.17 points, or 9 percent, to 907.84, with nine companies declining more than 20 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 733.08, or 7.9 percent, to 8,577.91, its second-biggest point drop ever. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 150.68, or 8.5 percent, to 1,628.33. About 37 stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.