Dow plunges 270 points at close

Another dose of disappointing economic news sent the Dow industrials down nearly 270 points.

Another dose of disappointing economic news sent the Dow industrials down nearly 270 points.

The Dow closed down 269.50, or 3.2%, at 8,043.63, while the Nasdaq dropped 41.91, or 3.4%, to 1,206.01 - a new five-year low.

The Standard & Poor's lost 29.64, or 3.4%, to 834.60, and the Russell 2000 fell 9.33 to 367.12.

It last closed lower on April 21, 1997, when it stood at 1,203.95.

Monday's selling followed a report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed the US service sector grew in July, but at a slower pace than many economists had predicted. The group's non-manufacturing index stood at 53.1 in July, after standing at 57.2 in June and 60.1 in May.

Procter & Gamble fell $2.40 to $87.44 despite fourth-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street's expectations, but failed to impress investors who had hoped for more.

Financial stocks were also lower. That included Citigroup, which slid $2.23, or 7.2%, to $28.65, following a cautious note about the company's prospects from Lehman Brothers.

Among tech stocks, Texas Instruments dropped $1.77 to $18.20. Cisco Systems, which is expected to report earnings after the market closes tomorrow, tumbled 53 cents, or 4.5%, to $11.36.

Retailers also retreated. Wal-Mart fell 50 cents to $45.60, while JC Penney lost 10 cents to $15.91.

Declining issues led advancers 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was brisk.

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