Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks slid and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged to its lowest level in 11 years after economic reports depicted a deepening recession and lawmakers postponed a vote on a plan to salvage the auto industry.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extended its 2008 tumble to 49 percent, poised for the worst annual decline in its 80-year history. Chesapeake Energy Corp. and National-Oilwell Varco Inc. slid more than 21 percent after oil sank to a three-year low as the slumping economy crushes demand. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lost 18 percent and Citigroup Inc. plunged 26 percent as concern the recession will trigger more bankruptcies pushed the cost of insurance against corporate defaults to an all-time high.
“We’re just trying to stay away from the window,” said James Paulsen, who helps oversee about $220 billion as chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management Inc. in Minneapolis. “This isn’t about fundamentals, it’s not about bad balance sheets, it’s about fear and confidence.”