Money Matters - Simplified

Energy Shares Lead Tumble, Wal-Mart Follows

Stocks fell yesterday as energy shares plunged on a decline in oil prices and raw-material producers slumped on concern that demand is slowing. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores decreased on disappointing earnings.

Stocks fell yesterday as energy shares plunged on a decline in oil prices and raw-material producers slumped on concern that demand is slowing. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores decreased on disappointing earnings.

Stocks fell yesterday as energy shares plunged on a decline in oil prices and raw-material producers slumped on concern that demand is slowing. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores decreased on disappointing earnings. Energy companies including Exxon Mobil, the market's top performers this year and last, had their steepest drop in more than two years as oil dropped below $ 49 a barrel.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 11.75, or 1 percent, to 1159.36. Oil-related stocks accounted for more than a third of the drop. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 110.77, or 1.1 percent, to 10,189.48. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 7.67, or 0.4 percent, to 1963.88.

A government report showing retail sales in April rose twice as much as economists expected failed to lift share prices on concern that it may prompt the Federal Reserve to step up its pace of interest-rate increases.

An S&P 500 gauge of energy shares fell 4.3 percent, its biggest slump since Sept. 2002 as all 29 members declined. Exxon dropped $ 2.47, to $ 54.82, and was the biggest contributor to the S&P 500's retreat. Valero Energy, the second-best-performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, fell $ 5.17, to $ 62.03.

U.S. Steel sank $3.12, to $38.98. The company cut its forecast of domestic shipments this year for the second time in three weeks and will shut an Indiana blast furnace earlier than planned to avoid a buildup of inventories.

Nucor, the second-biggest U.S. steelmaker, fell $ 2.97, to $ 48.91. Allegheny Technologies, a U.S. stainless steel producer, declined $ 1.80, or 7.9 percent, to $ 20.93, for the biggest retreat in the S&P 500.

Wal-Mart fell 95 cents, to $ 47.65. First-quarter profit fell short of the company's forecast as soaring gasoline prices hurt sales. The stock is down 9.8 percent in 2005.

Target, the No. 2 U.S. discount retailer, and Urban Outfitters, a clothing and home-furnishings retailer, gained on better-than-expected earnings. Target rose 60 cents, to $ 48.80. Urban Outfitters advanced $ 1.96, to $ 49.74.

Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, rose $ 1.90, to $ 36.36. Ford Motor, the second-biggest U.S. automaker, fell 29 cents, to $ 9.35.