Stocks Tumble on Grim Economic Data

October retail sales, weaker retailer outlooks and apparent lack of coordination in the government's handling of the financial crisis worries investors

Ouch. Hopes of a fairly benign end to a volatile week were dashed in the final fifteen minutes of trading on Friday as U.S. stocks plunged, erasing all evidence of the bounce that had taken stocks off their intraday lows. The economy is foremost on the minds of investors, who got another dose of gloom from a record drop in retail sales. Signs of disunity in the U.S. government's response to the financial crisis didn't help.

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