Stocks Ended Lower on Profit Fears

U.S. Stocks fell for a fourth day on Tuesday as more pessimism from companies compounded worries that the sluggish global economy is taking its toll on profit growth. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 83.17 points, or 0.65 percent, to end at 12,653.12. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 10.99 points, or 0.81 percent, to finish at 1,341.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 29.44 points, or 1.00 percent, to close at 2,902.33.

The European Union worked towards stabilizing Spain’s finances Tuesday as it backed up the blueprint for the country’s €100 billion bank bailout plan with plans to grant the country an extra year to cut its budget deficit. Finance ministers from the 27 EU countries, meeting in Brussels, approved extending Spain’s deadline for achieving a budget deficit of less than 3 percent of its annual economic output, until 2014, said Vassos Shiarly, Cyprus’ finance minister and chair of the meeting. The size of Spain’s economy in 2011 is estimated to have been $1.5 trillion.

The Energy Information Administration lowered its expectations for global demand for oil for this year and the next, according to a monthly outlook report Tuesday. In the most recent report, global demand for this year was pegged at 88.64 million barrels per day, and demand in 2013 was seen at 89.37 mbpd. The EIA projected New York-traded oil to average $88 a barrel in the second half of 2012, and it lowered price expectations for retail gasoline to $3.39 a gallon for the third quarter of 2012. Prices at the pump are expected to average $3.49 a gallon this year and $3.28 a gallon in 2013.
 
J.C. Penney says it is laying off 350 more workers at its headquarters in Plano, Tex., as the department store struggles to transform its business under Ron Johnson, a new CEO and former Apple executive.

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