U.S. Stocks Extend Drop as Factory Orders Unexpectedly Decline

U.S. stocks extended losses as government data showed factory orders unexpectedly declined in April, adding to evidence the economy is slowing.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.4 percent to 1,272.92 at 10:02 a.m. in New York, extending its tumble from a four-year high in April to more than 10 percent.

Factory bookings decreased 0.6 percent after a revised 2.1 percent decrease in March, the first back-to-back declines in more than three years, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 0.2 percent gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

A report last week showing the weakest U.S. hiring in 12 months erased the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s advance for 2012 and pushed valuations in the S&P 500 to 19 percent below last year’s level.

The increase in the American jobless rate to 8.2 percent in May compounded signs that the economic recovery is stalling and sent the benchmark gauge for U.S. equities down 2.5 percent to 1,278.04 on June 1, almost 37 points below its level a year earlier. The S&P 500 is trading at 12.9 times profits in the last 12 months, compared with 15.9 times in February 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net

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