Stocks go from surging to stumbling

March 19, 2008 1:41:41 PM PDT
It was a woeful Wednesday on the big board.

Plunging commodities prices led to weakness in energy and basic materials stocks, giving the key averages losses of more than 2 percent.

A day after gaining 420 points, the Dow lost 293 to 12,099.

The S&P 500 fell 32 points to 1,298.

And the Nasdaq composite dropped 58 points to 2,209.

Declining issues led advancers by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 5.2 billion shares. Nasdaq stock market volume was 2 and a-quarter billion shares.

Oil prices fell sharply after the Energy Department released data indicating the high price of oil and gasoline are prompting consumers to pull back in their use of petroleum products. Light, sweet crude for April delivery fell $4.94 to settle at $104.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.