Stocks fall as economic reports, disappointing quarterly reports stir concerns about economy.
Stocks fall sharply after a series of economic and earnings reports and a further rise in oil prices stoke concerns about the health of economy. The major stock indexes drop more than 2 percent and the Dow Jones industrials give up more than 300 points.
Disappointing quarterly results from American International Group Inc. and Dell Inc. are unnerving investors. An index of regional business activity that Wall Street regards as a precursor to a broader report registers its weakest reading in more than six years.
Soaring oil prices are adding to investors' worries. In midafternoon trading, the Dow has slipped 302.28, or 2.40 percent, to 12,279.90.
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