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July 24, 2001

Investors Choke On Earnings Reports

Stocks continued their downward slide today as another round of earnings reports jolted investors back to reality. Lately, the markets have seesawed between positive days and negative days. But the bad earnings reports have come fast and furious over the past two days, knocking investors for a loop. And, there won't be a breather anytime soon, either. Earnings season isn't over yet, and we expect many more disappointments before the week is out.

Today's disappointments reaffirmed that the global slowdown is hurting multinational companies. Like 3M yesterday, McDonald's and Exxon Mobil reported worse-than-expected profits as a result of weak business in Europe.

The economic situation in the US continues to deteriorate as well. Lucent Technologies announced plans to layoff 20,000 more workers. Last week, the Department of Labor's Regional unemployment reports -- ( showed that unemployment increased in all regions of the country but the South -- jumping to 4.9% from 4.8% in the West and from 4.1% to 4.2% in both the Northeast and the Midwest.

Poor earnings reports, increasing unemployment, and international economic struggle means there will be more down days for the stock market in the weeks ahead.


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