Stocks End with Harsh Losses Across the Board

Brazil-fed weakness keeps a tight grip on Wall Street, sending all major indices lower.
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Stocks plummeted in large part on continued worries over Brazil as the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

lost the most ground among the market's major indices and tumbled about 2.5%.

The Dow surrendered 228.63 to 9120.93. The Dow had fallen as much as 261.84 to 9087.72. The

S&P 500

fell 22.21, or 1.8%, to 1212.19. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

slumped 39.92, or 1.7%, to 2276.89. The

Russell 2000

surrendered 4.76, or 1.1%, to 420.10.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index tumbled 13.66, or 2.7%, to 492.68.

The

Bovespa

stock index closed down just under 10%. Trading was suspended during the session for 30 minutes after the index fell 10%. Rumors hit the market that Brazil planned to let the real float freely, removing the just-widened trading bands, however, late this afternoon Brazil's central bank denied the rumors.

Treasuries benefited from the Brazilian and U.S. stock market's weakness and soared. The 30-year Treasury bond was lately up 1 7/32 to 102 29/32, yielding 5.06%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners beat advancers 2,145 to 880 on 798 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers beat winners 2,172 to 1,896 on 1.013 billion shares.

On the NYSE, 45 issues set new 52-week lows while 21 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 82 issues set new highs while new lows totaled 39.

On the Big Board,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

was most active with 22.1 million shares changing hands. It was down 5 1/4, or 18.9%, to 22 1/2.

On the Nasdaq,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 20.8 million. It was down 5 1/4 to 133 3/4.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup

.

3:46 p.m.: Steady Plummet Continues from Wall Street to Sao Paulo

U.S. stocks plunged to their session lows as Brazilian stock trading resumed after a halt, but they've come back a bit.

The

Bovespa

stock index plummeted 10%, suspending trading for 30 minutes. The Bovespa lately was down 9.97%. Rumors hit the market that Brazil planned to let the real float freely, removing the just-widened trading bands.

Brazil's central bank supervision director, Claudio Mauch, said today he was resigning for personal reasons. Gustavo Franco, the central bank's president, quit yesterday.

Meanwhile, the opening arguments in the impeachment trial of

President Clinton

began this afternoon. Some attributed the additional pressure on stocks -- in addition to the situation in Brazil -- to the proceedings in Washington.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was lately down 193 to 9156.

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

was the biggest drag on the Dow, down 8 1/4, or 10.5%, to 70 7/16 on a disappointing earnings report.

Elsewhere, the

S&P 500

was down 15 to 1219, the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 20 to 2297, the

Russell 2000

was down 4 to 421 and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 7 to 499.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 1 6/32 to 102 28/32, yielding 5.07%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 2,118 to 899 on 743 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 2,183 to 1,857 on 816 million shares.

On the NYSE, 20 issues had set new 52-week highs while 41 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 82 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 39.

On the Big Board,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

was most active with 21 million shares changing hands. It was down 5 1/2, or 19.8%, to 22 1/4.

On the Nasdaq,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 19.4 million shares. It was lately down 4 3/8 to 134 5/8.

2:14 p.m.: Stocks Plunge to Session Lows as Brazil's Collapse Continues

Stocks recently plunged to their session lows on a new wave of selling, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

leading the way down.

The Dow was lately down 188 to 9161. Trailblazing the way down has been

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

, which was off 8 3/16, or 10.4%, to 70 1/2 after issuing a disappointing fourth-quarter earnings report. The company reported operating earnings of $1.05 a share, short of the

First Call

11-analyst consensus estimate, but up from the year-ago 75 cents.

The

S&P 500

was down 18 to 1217, the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 25 to 2292 and the

Russell 2000

was down 3 to 422.

Meanwhile, in Washington, opening prosecution arguments recently began in the impeachment trial of

President Clinton

.

"I sense a tired market," said Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading at

Ryan Beck

, in light of the market's run-up in the last few weeks.

Yesterday the catalyst for the selloff was the de facto devaluation of the Brazilian real. Brazil's troubles are continuing today, with the

Bovespa

down more than 10%, sparking a 30-minute trading halt.

"I would expect it to be down today," Suskind said of the decline in U.S. stocks. The market is pausing, he said, adding that the market has been quite frothy and now people are taking some money off the table.

People are looking at fourth-quarter earnings now, he noted. Because, in part companies have pre-released, and earnings are coming in where people are expecting them.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately up 25/32 to 102 15/32, yielding 5.09%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,902 to 999 on 523 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

losers were beating winners 1,983 to 1,833 on 699 million shares.

On the NYSE, 15 issues had set new 52-week highs while 30 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 77 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 30.

On the Big Board,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

was most active with 16 million shares changing hands. It was down 4 7/8, or 17.8%, to 22 7/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was most active on volume of 14.6 million shares. It was lately down 5 1/4 to 133 3/4.

Sector Focus: Retailers

The

Commerce Department

said December

retail sales

rose 0.9%. Excluding autos, sales rose 0.4%.

The

S&P Retail Index

was lately down 1.2%. It's down about 4% so far this year.

Retailers were relatively prominent in the news today.

Dayton Hudson

(DH)

announced a $1 billion stock buyback program which it said is expected to be completed within the next two years. Dayton Hudson lately was up 1/16 to 54 1/8.

On the e-commerce retailer front,

Nordstrom

(NOBE)

said today it made the first of its two direct-sales catalogs --

Nordstrom, The Catalog

-- fully available online. The other catalog,

Nordstrom 2nd Nature

, featuring more contemporary, relaxed women's apparel, will be completely online by Feb. 15, the company said. Nordstrom launched its Web site,

Nordstrom.com

, in October. Nordstrom was lately down 1/4 to 34.

12:57 p.m.: Ardor for Stocks Stays Cool as Street Assesses Negatives

Stocks were mostly lower late this morning, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

suffering the most.

The blue-chip Dow lately was down 117 to 9232. Dow component

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

was the biggest drag on the average, falling 8 1/4, or 10.5%, to 70 7/16 after it reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of $1.05 a share, far short of the

First Call

11-analyst consensus estimate, but up from the year-ago 75 cents.

The

S&P 500

was down 7 to 1227. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 3 to 2313. The

Russell 2000

was down 1 to 424.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 2 to 508.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 17/32 to 102 7/32, yielding 5.11%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,621 to 1,141 on 341 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

winners were beating losers 1,872 to 1,619 on 493 million shares.

On the NYSE, 14 issues had set new 52-week highs while 26 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 70 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 20.

On the Big Board,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

was most active with 11.9 million shares changing hands. It was down 3 3/4, or 13.5%, to 24.

On the Nasdaq,

Sunglass Hut

(RAYS)

was most active on volume of 11.7 million shares. It was lately up 2, or 27.1%, to 9 7/16.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded the stock to strong buy from neutral.

Tech Focus

Among the major tech-type indices, the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was down 0.9%, the

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

was down 0.2% and the

Nasdaq 100

was down 0.1%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was down 2.1%.

Nextlink Communications

(NXLK)

, a communications services company, said lately it is buying

WNP Communications

for almost $700 million in cash in stock.

Motorola

(MOT)

was down 2 1/8 to 68 15/16. This morning, the company said it expects to meet analysts' consensus estimates of $7.1 billion in sales and earnings for the first quarter. The current 17-analyst first-quarter estimate calls for earnings of 23 cents a share. After the close yesterday, the technology and communications company reported fourth-quarter earnings of 26 cents, topping the 28-analyst estimate by 3 cents but falling behind the year-ago 65 cents.

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

was down 2 5/16 to 44 1/8. After the bell, the computer maker beat Wall Street expectations when it reported fourth-quarter earnings.

Salomon Smith Barney

downgraded Apple to neutral from buy, while

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

upgraded it to buy from market perform.

11:04 a.m.: Tech Stocks Lose Strength; Blue-Chip Slide Worsens

Most of the major stock gauges have turned negative after a mixed start to the session, with techs and small-caps losing early strength and blue-chips extending their losses.

The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

fell into negative territory around 10:30 a.m. EST, lately down 3 to 2313.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index, which surged as much as 25.61 to 531.95 earlier, dipped below break-even but lately was up 5 to 11.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 99 to 9251.

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

was the biggest drag on the Dow. It was down 7 11/16, or 9.8%, to 71 after it reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of $1.05 a share, far short of the

First Call

11-analyst consensus estimate but up from the year-ago 75 cents.

Disappointing earnings from Kodak and

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

have pressured the market so far today.

However, the overriding concern continues to be Brazil.

"Everyone's concerned over Brazil," said Dan Marciano, head of equity trading at

First Albany

.

Today, he said, the market will probably retrace its losses from yesterday before rising again -- that is, if the market situation in Brazil remains stable overall. Lately, the

Bovespa

stock index was down 3.4%.

The

S&P 500

was down 5 to 1230 and the small-cap

Russell 2000

was essentially unchanged at 425.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately up 13/32 to 102 3/32, yielding 5.11%.

Market participants will be picking and choosing in the marketplace regarding buying stock of companies depending on their exposure to Brazil, Marciano said. He noted that money-center banks now are pretty much hedged in the marketplace. "I think the worst is over for the banks," he said.

One question in the wake of the effective devaluation of the real is how it will affect car sales of

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Ford

(F) - Get Report

, for example, he noted.

Analysts and market participants are wondering if the devaluation of the real will spread elsewhere. One key worry is the prospect of that trouble spreading to Mexico. The

Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index

, which plummeted 4.6% yesterday, lately was up 0.3%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners were beating advancers 1,433 to 1,156 on 232 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners were beating losers 1,735 to 1,453 on 353 million shares.

On the NYSE, 11 issues had set new 52-week highs while 18 had touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 61 issues had set new highs while new lows totaled 14.

On the Big Board, AMD was most active, with 9.4 million shares changing hands. It was down 4 1/8, or 14.9%, to 23 5/8.

On the Nasdaq,

Sunglass Hut

(RAYS)

was most active on volume of 10.1 million shares. It was lately up 2, or 27.1%, to 9 7/16.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded the stock to strong buy from neutral.

On the economic front, the

Labor Department

reported the overall

Consumer Price Index

for December rose 0.1%, while excluding food and energy prices, it rose 0.3%.

The

Commerce Department

reported overall

retail sales

in December rose 0.9%, while excluding autos, retail sales jumped 0.4%.

10 a.m.: Techs Strong, Blue-Chips Weak in Early Action

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

and the

Russell 2000

were higher in the early going, but the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and the

S&P 500

slumped.

Yesterday, the market was pounded amid the de facto devaluation of Brazil's currency, the real, and the resignation of Brazil's central bank president.

The Nasdaq Comp was up 9 to 2326. The Russell 2000 was up 2 to 427. The Dow was down 46 to 9304. The S&P 500 was down 1 to 1234.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

was rebounding from yesterday's weakness and was lately up 22 to 528.

The 30-year Treasury bond was lately up 18/32 to 102 8/32, yielding 5.10%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Vodafone (VOD) - Get Report, up 6 3/4 to 177 1/4

.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

MindSpring (MSPG) , up 8 1/8 to 98

.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

IBM (IBM) - Get Report, down 1 7/8 to 183 5/8

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Whole Foods Market (WFMI) , down 10 to 34 1/2

: The company expects first-quarter earnings to be less than Wall Street estimates.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

downgraded Whole Foods to neutral from outperform.

BT Alex. Brown

cut its rating to buy from strong buy.