U.S. stocks fell a fourth consecutive day on Friday, causing the Standard & Poor's 500 to drop the most in five years on concerns that the White House effort to boost the economy may not prevent a recession.
Sprint Nextel, the third-biggest wireless carrier, announced it will eliminate 4,000 jobs and close 125 stores. The announcement came after the company suffered a big loss of subscribers in the fourth quarter. The company's shares lost the most in over 25 years on the New York Stock Exchange with its shares diving to 24.8 percent.
The S&P 500 declined 8.06 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,325.19 and is down 9.8 percent this year in its worst-ever start. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 59.91, or 0.5 percent, to 12,099.3. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 6.88, or 0.3 percent, to 2,340.02.
The S&P 500 lost 5.4 percent this week, its worst loss since July 2002. Meanwhile, the Dow average dipped 4 percent and the Nasdaq declined 4.1 percent.
President Bush pushed his concern about a slowing economy forward by announcing a government plan to give it a boost. He said the tax relief plan should be about 1 percent of gross domestic product, or as much as $150 billion. President Bush said the tax-relief plan should include tax incentives for businesses and direct and rapid income tax relief for the American people.
Fed Chief Bernanke testified before the House Budget Committee in Washington on Thursday concerning the nation's economic outlook. Bernanke warned the government should move quickly to form a fiscal stimulus plan and execute it within the next 12 months.