1:45 PM New York – U.S. stocks extended losses for the second after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke comments that laid out the timetable for the stimulus taper. European markets led the world market decline with a loss of more than 3%. Gold plunged 5% and oil fell 3%. The yield on 10-year U.S. bond increased to 2.42%.
Stocks on Wall Street declined for the second day in a row and leading market indexes fell more than 1% again.
The S&P 500 index declined 1.8% or 29.4 to 1,599 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.6% or 55.26 to 3,387.94.
Existing home sales increased 4.2% to an annual rate of 5.18 million from 4.97 million in April, according to the data released by the National Association of Realtors in Washington today.
The median price of homes increased 15.4% from a year ago month to $208,000, the highest since July 2008.
Separately, the Labor Department report showed initial jobless claims increased 18,000 to 354,000 in the week ending on June 15 from a revised 336,000 in the previous week.
European markets declined the most in 18 months following the sharp losses in Asian markets after comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
In London, FTSE 100 index dropped 3% and in Frankfurt DAX 30 index plunged 3.3%.
The market rout in Europe was deeper in smaller markets and CAC 40 index in Paris plummeted 3.7%. Other markets in the region, Swiss, Spanish and Italian markets declined more than 3%.
Asian markets reacted first to the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke comments and sold off sharply.
Jakarta index plunged 4% and market indexes in Hong Kong declined 2.9%. The benchmark index in Mumbai fell 2.7% and indexes in Australia, Thailand and in Seoul declined more than 2%.
The Nikkei index in Tokyo declined 1.7% and the yen fell 1%.
Currencies in emerging markets in Asian and in Europe declined and the Indian rupee hit an all-time new low against the dollar and hovered near 60 against a dollar.
Stocks in Review
The Kroger Co
) dropped 4.9% or $1.72 to $33.40 after the supermarket operator reported total sales in the first quarter ending on May 25 grew 3.4% to $30 billion. Net earnings for the quarter jumped 9.6% to $481 million or 92 per diluted share compared to $439 million or 78 cents.
The company lifted its net earnings guidance for the year and now expects between $2.73 and $2.80 per diluted share.
Pier 1 Imports, Inc
) fell 3.9% or 93 cents to $23.06 after the home furnishings retailer said total sales in the first quarter ending on June 1 jumped 9.3% to $394.9 million. Comparable store sales for the quarter climbed 5.9%
Net income for the quarter climbed 14% to $20.3 million or 19 per diluted share compared to $17.8 million or 16 cents.