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Dollar Thrifty Hits a Big Pothole

Shares of the car-rental outfit plunged Monday after it slashed its profit forecast, underscoring the tough conditions in the industry

The problems of the car rental business are deepening. On Feb. 4, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG) shares plunged 35% after the firm nearly cutting in half its expectations for 2007 profits.

Dollar Thrifty's news jolted the industry, raising worries that U.S. consumers are cutting back on their travel spending. Dollar Thrifty's larger rivals, Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ) and Avis Budget Group (CAR), at one point on Feb. 4 had fallen as much as 7% and almost 14% respectively.