Stocks fell Thursday, slicing 115 points from the Dow Jones industrials after a larger-than-expected drop in durable-goods orders raised new questions about the economy and corporate profits.
Wall Street saw the Commerce Department's report on durable goods -- big-ticket items designed to last at least three years -- as another in a line of signs that consumer spending could dry up and further harm an already decelerating economy. Orders for durable goods fell 2.1 percent in September, far more than the 1.5 percent drop economists had forecast.
Investors also remained concerned that the Fed, in raising interest rates to quash inflation, will further slow economic growth and company earnings by making capital more expensive for companies looking to expand. The Fed next meets Tuesday and is widely expected to raise its benchmark lending rate by a quarter-percentage point, to 4 percent.
The Dow fell 115.03, or 1.11 percent, to 10,229.95.
Broader stock indicators also lost ground. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 12.48, or 1.1 percent, to 1178.90, and the Nasdaq composite index lost 36.24, or 1.73 percent, to 2063.81.
Bonds rose solidly, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note falling to 4.56 percent from 4.59 percent late Wednesday. The U.S. dollar was lower against other major currencies in European trading. Gold prices were higher.
Exxon Mobil lost 60 cents, to $55.60, despite reporting its best quarterly profit ever. Earnings fell below analysts' expectations.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber rose $1.97, to $15.35, after reporting the highest quarterly profit in seven years.
General Motors fell $1.98, to $27.19, after the company said it received a Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena for documents about pensions and post-retirement benefits, and its dealings with auto-parts maker Delphi.
Baidu.com fell $10.70, to $70.35, after the Internet company posted quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations but still disappointed investors who thought the biggest online portal in the booming Chinese market would do even better.
New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 71.45, to 7263.32.
American Stock Exchange index fell 7.48, to 1623.61.
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 14.38, to 624.03.
NYSE: 2.41 billion shares, down from 2.48 billion on Wednesday. Decliners outnumbered advancers 11 to 4.
Nasdaq: 1.74 billion shares, down from 1.87 billion. Decliners narrowly outnumbered advancers.
Crude oil for December delivery: $61.09, up 43 cents.
Gold for current delivery: $473.80 a troy ounce, up from $471.20 on Wednesday.