World stocks, oil fall on U.S. results, economy fears

Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:46pm EDT
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks and crude oil fell on Friday as investors took a dim view of U.S. corporate earnings after General Electric and McDonald's disappointed, while Europe's debt crisis and ongoing concerns about global growth also weighed on sentiment.

The dollar climbed against the euro and the yen as a perceived lack of progress on a Spanish bailout request reminded investors of the headwinds facing the world economy.

Gold fell more than 1 percent, its biggest one-day slide in more than three months, as bullion was hit by technical selling and the decline on Wall Street, which erased most of the week's gains.

The CBOE Volatility Index , the so-called fear gauge, jumped 13.5 percent to 17.06, its highest level since September 5.

The stock market sell-off occurred on the 25th anniversary of the Black Monday crash of 1987, when the Dow plummeted 22.6 percent - its worst single-day percentage loss ever.

"This sell-off is definitely earnings-driven but there is also an element of profit taking after several strong days," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.

Revenue missed analysts' expectations at GE (GE.N: Quote) due to unfavorable exchange rates, while McDonald's (MCD.N: Quote) profits also missed expectations because of the weak global economy.

GE fell 3.4 percent to $22.03 and McDonald's slid 4.5 percent to $88.72.   Continued...

A dealer monitors her screens on the trading floor of IG Index in London May 6, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs