Stocks fall as worries mount over Japanese economy

NEW YORK (AP) — Concerns over the economic impact of the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan are leading to a broad sell-off in the stock market. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy.

Nine out of the 10 company groups that make up the Standard and Poor’s 500 index fell today. Utilities companies lost 1.4 percent, the most of any group, as the Japanese disaster dimmed the prospects of nuclear energy.

At the market close, the S&P index is down 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,296. The Dow Jones industrial average is down 51, or 0.4 percent, to 11,993. The Nasdaq composite is down 15, or 0.5 percent, to 2,700.

Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 969 million shares.

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