Stocks Tumbled, Dow Off 225

U.S.stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday, with the Dow industrials extending its triple-digit tantrum into a second day,  after disappointing results and outlooks from Dow components Wal-Mart and Cisco. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 225.47 points, or 1.47%, to 15,112.19. The S&P 500 index declined 24.07 points, or 1.43%, to 1,661.32 and the Nasdaq Composite
fell 63.16 points, or 1.72%, to 3,606.12.

Dell Inc. reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue despite shrinking PC sales. The world’s No. 3 PC maker reported sales of $14.5 billion in the fiscal second quarter, flat from a year earlier but surpassing the $14.2 billion analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

IBM, the world’s biggest technology services company, said on Thursday it has agreed to buy Trusteer, a company that helps businesses fight computer viruses and fraud.

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday jumped to 59 this month from 56 in July.

Oil futures scored a gain on Thursday, for a fifth straight session to finish at their highest level in two weeks, as an increase in deadly violence in Egypt raised worries about supplies in the Middle East. Crude oil for September delivery
(NMN:CLU3) tacked on 48 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $107.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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