Stocks fell as Alcoa's fourth-quarter results, the first from a member of the Dow Jones industrial average, showed a wider loss amid falling demand for aluminum from makers of power-plant turbines and aircraft.
The Dow fell 145.28, or 1.7 percent, to 8595.31. The Nasdaq composite index fell 30.50, or 2.1 percent, to 1401.07, and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 13.00, or 1.4 percent, to 909.93.
Five trading days into the year, the Dow is up 3 percent and the Nasdaq 4.9 percent. The S&P 500's 3.4 percent gain is its fourth-largest for the period since 1950, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.
Alcoa fell $2.53, to $21.85. Fourth-quarter losses widened to 27 cents a share, from 17 cents a year earlier, as the largest aluminum maker recorded costs related to 8,000 jobs it plans to cut in 2003. Excluding the costs, the company had a profit of 16 cents per share, below the 25 cents analysts expected.
Verizon fell $2.32, to $40.91; SBC Communications fell $1.23, to $28.78; and BellSouth fell $1.27, to $27.65. All three rallied Monday on speculation that regulators will stop requiring providers of local telephone service to rent their networks to rivals at discount prices, ending a policy in place since 1996.
Microsoft fell $1.56, to $54.24. The largest software maker is among companies that don't plan to start paying dividends in response to Bush's plan, the New York Times said. The shares rallied Tuesday on speculation that the company would begin quarterly payouts to investors.
Intel slipped 68 cents, to $16.68. The biggest semiconductor maker projects that global technology spending will remain slow in the first six months of 2003, Reuters reported, citing Tom Kilroy, an Intel vice president.
Gateway fell 21 cents, to $2.96. The personal-computer maker said its fourth-quarter sales dropped, leading to losses of 18 or 19 cents per share, based on a preliminary review. The company previously forecast a 13-cent loss.
J.P. Morgan Chase fell $1.07, to $26.77. The stock already reflects expectations for a healthier economy this year and risks associated with bad loans remain, Diane Glossman, a UBS Warburg analyst, wrote in a note to clients. She cut the second-largest U.S. bank to "hold" from "buy."
General Motors fell $1.63, to $38.21. The largest automaker will lower the 10 percent rate of return it previously assumed in its pension fund, resulting in higher retirement costs that may hurt earnings. The lower rate will be announced at a meeting with analysts Thursday, said spokeswoman Toni Simonetti.
* The New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 5.70, to 485.19; the American Stock Exchange index fell 3.60, to 825.13; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 4.88, to 389.07.
* Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by 5 to 3 on the NYSE, where trading volume fell to 1.48 billion shares, from 1.59 billion on Tuesday. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 7 to 4 and volume totaled 1.42 billion, down from 1.72 billion.
* The price of the Treasury's 10-year note fell 63 cents per $1,000 invested, and its yield rose to 4.03 percent, from 4.02 percent on Tuesday.
* The dollar fell against the Japanese yen and the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 119.05 yen, down from 120.46 late Tuesday, and a euro bought $1.0489, up from $1.0415.
* Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery settled at $30.56 a barrel, down 52 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
* Gold for current delivery rose to $353.90 a troy ounce, from $347.30 on Tuesday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.