U.S. stocks started lower on Tuesday as investors worried about the health of the recovery and a potential credit downgrade. Helping foster fears, the Commerce Department reported Americans trimmed their spending in June for the first time in almost two years. Extending its longest losing streak in more than a year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 72 points to 12,060. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 8 points to 1,278. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 12 points to 2,732. The earnings keep coming in, many trading to the downside. The list includes Vivus, Texas Roadhouse, Martin Marietta, Ben Franklin, HCP, Pinnacle West, Great Wolf Resorts, Parker Hannifin, Gaylord Entertainment, Molson Coors, Pfizer, Archer Daniels, Coach, Emerson, Genesee Wyoming, Hyatt Hotel, and Tenet Healthcare. A few stocks are trading higher following earnings including Herbalife, Rogers Communications, Rowan, Office Max, and Foster Wheeler. In the financial space, National Financial Partners and Principal Financial are higher following earnings. Annaly Capital Management is unchanged following earnings and an upgrade. A lot of jittery investors surrounding that stock and a pending debt downgrade. During the first hour the averages tried to rebound only to sell off once again. Very few stocks are in the green. During the lunch hour the Senate passed the debt reduction bill and yet the averages kept pushing lower. In the afternoon the President signed the new debt limit bill into law and the averages kept pushing lower. In the last hour the Dow fell 200 points. The Nasdaq declined 60 points. Investors seem to be concerned that all the debt limit wrangling may be causing a further economic slowdown. In the last hour the averages sold off into the close. Not pretty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 265 points, or 2.2%, at 11,866, suffering its biggest one-day point loss since June 1 as investors continued to fret about economic growth. The S&P 500 lost 32 points, or 2.6%, to end at 1,254, down for a seventh-straight session. The Nasdaq Composite fell 75 points, or 2.8%, to 2,669, finishing lower for a third session in a row.
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