Stocks Tumbled on Disappointing Earnings

U.S. stocks closed near their intraday lows Tuesday following some disappointing industrial earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 207.00 points, or 1.74%, to 11,706.62. The S&P 500 lost 25.14 points, or 2.00%, to 1,229.05. The Nasdaq Composite slid 61.02 points, or 2.26%, to 2,638.42.

Consumer confidence fell in October to the lowest since March 2009. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer sentiment came in at 39.8, down about six points from September and seven shy of what economists were expecting. Inc reported a 73 percent drop in quarterly profit on Tuesday after spending heavily on its new tablet computer and other long-term projects. Its third-quarter net income was $63 million, or 14 cents a share, versus $231 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was $10.88 billion, up 44 percent from the third quarter of 2010, it added.

The Italian government and a broad European plan to save the euro were both at risk on Tuesday, with Premier Silvio Berlusconi locked in a high-stakes battle with coalition partners to muster support for emergency growth measures demanded by the European Union.

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