General Electric underlined the depth of the global financial crisis on Friday, announcing its worst quarter in five years and slashing full-year forecasts.
The news, described as "shocking" by a senior GE executive, combined with data showing that US consumer confidence was at a 26-year low to send shares lower. The S&P 500 fell 2 per cent in New York to 1,332.83.
Shares in GE, which derives more than half its revenues overseas and is seen as a bellwether of the global economy, led the way, falling 12.8 per cent - its biggest loss since the 1987 stock market crash.
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