Virginia stocks follow Dow’s plunge

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Virginia stocks fell again Wednesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 733 points on an array of bad economic news. New reports showed a 1.2 percent drop in retail sales in September. The Federal Reserve also released a report that highlighted how the tight credit market was hurting small businesses.

Along with a small fall on Tuesday, most of the Dow’s record 936-point gain on Monday has been erased.

The Nasdaq Composite fell 8.7 percent and the S&P 500 fell 9 percent. Almost all of Virginia’s largest public companies saw their stock prices drop as well.

Virginia’s insurance companies and coal companies were hit hardest. Richmond insurer Genworth Financial’s stock price dropped 22.4 percent to $5.23, and AES dropped 9.81 percent to close at $8.11. The stock prices of Richmond-based James River Coal Co. fell 20 percent, Abingdon-based Alpha Natural Resources fell 19 percent and Massey Energy Co. of Richmond fell 14 percent.

Other hard-hit Virginia stocks included McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp., which fell 15 percent and McLean-based Sallie Mae, which fell 21 percent.

Here is how stocks of Virginia’s largest companies closed on Wednesday:

Altria Group, down $1.48, $18.07
General Dynamics, down $5.13, $56.36
Dominion Resources, down $2.80, $34.31
Smithfield Foods, down $1.42, $13.14
AES, down 82 cents, $8.11
Circuit City Stores, down 3 cents, 37 cents
Capital One, down $6.71, $37.76
Genworth Financial, down $1.51, $5.23
Norfolk Southern, down $5.06, $50.27
CarMax, down 88 cents, $9.55
Gannett, down $1.79, $11.37
MeadWestvaco, down $3.47, $16.92
Owens & Minor, down $3.03, $37.46
NVR Inc., down $22.50, $511.50
Advance Auto Parts, down $2.45, $25.38

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