Wall St. sinks; Dow ends in bear territory

2/07/2008 - 21:14

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks tumbled on Wednesday, dragging the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> down to close officially in a bear market, as worries about the impact of record oil prices on the economy escalated and a brokerage warned that the bankruptcy of General Motors is "not impossible."

A bear market finish occurs when an index finishes down 20 percent or more from its most recent closing high. The Dow hit its record closing finish on October 9, 2007.

Based on the latest data, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> finished unofficially down 166.75 points, or 1.46 percent, at 11,215.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> slid 23.39 points, or 1.82 percent, to end unofficially at 1,261.52 -- down more than 19 percent from its October 2007 record finish.

The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> slumped 53.51 points, or 2.32 percent, to close unofficially at 2,251.46.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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