Stocks Hit Hard Since 2008 Crisis

U.S. stocks suffered their worst day Thursday since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.The Dow average fell 512.76 points, or 4.31%, to 11,383.68. The S&P 500 lost 60.27, or 4.78%, to 1,200.07. The Nasdaq Composite lost 136.68 points, or 5.08%, to 2,556.39.

Kraft Foods Inc. said Thursday it plans to split into two publicly traded companies, with one focusing on its international snack brands like Trident gum and Cadbury chocolates and the other on its North American grocery business that includes Maxwell House coffee and Oscar Mayer meats. Its second-quarter earnings climbed 4 percent to $976 million, or 55 cents per share, from $937 million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 13 percent to $13.88 billion from $12.25 billion.

Oil posted its biggest one-day drop in three months as investors worried about another recession. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery fell $5.30, or 5.8 percent, to settle at $86.63 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. said Thursday that it will charge its customers a fee to hold cash deposits over $50 million. The bank said it has seen such a large increase in deposits over the last month that it will charge a 0.13 percent fee to clients with “extraordinary high deposit levels.”

General Motors Co. said Thursday its second-quarter profit nearly doubled to $2.5 billion. Higher pricing– mostly in North America — added $1 billion to its results. Revenue rose 19 percent.

Mortgage insurer The PMI Group Inc. warned investors on Thursday that it may be unable to continue selling new policies and could shut down. PMI shares topped $50 a share in 2007, before the housing bubble burst. But the company has posted more than $3.5 billion in losses since 2007 as it paid out claims on foreclosed homes.

AIG reported earnings of $1.8 billion in the second quarter, reversing a loss of $2.7 billion a year ago. AIG’s earnings in the second quarter last year were wiped out by a $3.3 billion goodwill impairment charge for discontinued operations. AIG reported earnings per share of $1 per share. Operating income of 69 cents per share was below the 94 cents that analysts were expecting.

Southwest Airlines Co. set records for full planes, and higher fares boosted revenue as the summer vacation season kicked into high gear.But on Thursday Southwest said its fuel costs soared, its second-quarter profit fell short of analysts’ expectations, and it will scale back growth plans for next year.

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