FRANKFURT -- Stocks slid in a flurry of early-afternoon selling on concerns about company profits and a recent jump in U.S. bond yields, which some fear will spill over into European yields.
Among the biggest losers were telecoms and banks.
skidded 4.1% and its big competitor
dropped 4.4%. Even the seemingly invulnerable U.K. names were weak, with
down 1.9% and
Losing banks included
, down 1.6%,
Banque Nationale de Paris
, down 1.7%, and
, down 2.6%.
The big movers today were tire companies. Yes, tire companies after a front-page story in the
will take a controlling interest in Japan's
Sumitomo Rubber Industries
Shares of Germany's
bounced 7.6% on the news, Italy's
added 4.7% and France's
sprang 4.4%. But, not surprisingly, enthusiasm for buying tire shares did not spread into the broader market.
In Frankfurt, the
was down 89 points, or 1.7%, at 5075, while in London the
was down 65, or 1.1%, at 5947 and in Paris the
was down 62, or 1.5%, at 4181.
Markets here are betting that the
today and the
European Central Bank
Thursday will leave rates unchanged, while some think the
Bank of England
Thursday might cut rates.
Some traders were counting on any deeper move into the negative zone being reversed by the market's ever-present oceans of liquidity.
Thomas Teetz, equities strategist at
in Dusseldorf, conceded that the market was struggling, but said that in the end he thinks liquidity will win the battle. He called recent losses a correction, which he thinks is about over.
"I would be a buyer," he said. "We have no clear signal to go up, but on the other hand we have a lot of liquidity that wants to get into the market."