U.S. stocks fell sharply Tuesday on modest GDP growth data and declining consumer confidence index.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday U.S. gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter was revised higher to a 1.6 percent annual pace, the slowest in three years, from an initial estimate of 1.1 percent. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. GDP and is the major engine of economic growth, increased by 1.2 percent in the final quarter of last year, compared with an increase of 4.1 percent in the third quarter.
The Conference Board announced Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in January, declined in February, while consumers were growing increasingly concerned about the short-term health of the economy and job prospects.
World oil prices rallied Tuesday on the eve of the release of U. S. energy stockpiles weekly report amid worries about supply in Nigeria and Iran. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, rose 41 cents to settle at 61.41 dollars per barrel.
Google tumbled 27.76 dollars, or 7.1 percent, to 362.62 dollars after Chief Financial Officer George Reyes told investors that growth of the online search leader was slowing. Reyes told investors at a Merrill Lynch conference that the company would have to find new ways to boost revenues. Earlier, it fell to as low as 338.51 dollars.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 104.14 points, or 0. 94 percent, at 10,993.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 13.46 points, or 1.04 percent, at 1,280.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 25.79 points, or 1.12 percent, at 2,281.39.
Decliners led advancers by more than 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.78 billion shares, up from 1.44 billion on Monday.