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Dow Falls 243 Points On Worst Day In Months


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish. Now, some business news. This past Friday and again today, the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points. The drop occurred after several big U.S. companies turned in disappointing results. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: This is the time of year when companies report their earnings for the third quarter, and so far, there have been some unpleasant surprises. Last week, it was Google and IBM. Today, DuPont said its profits dropped by 98 percent from the record set in 2011. And the company said it would lay off 1,500 people. United Technologies and Xerox also issued disappointing reports. David Kelly is chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. He says companies are feeling the impact of slow growth in the U.S. and all over the world.

DAVID KELLY: Particularly for large multinational U.S. corporations, this is a very difficult environment, and it's showing up in some of these earnings numbers this month.

ZARROLI: Kelly says the stronger dollar is also making it harder for U.S. companies to sell their products abroad. He says the elections are adding a note of uncertainty over fiscal and economic policy, and investors may be holding back until they see what is happening. Because of concerns about slower growth, oil prices have fallen to their lowest level since July. Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jim Zarroli is an NPR correspondent based in New York. He covers economics and business news.