By Margarita Snegireva. After a warning by phone company AT&T of soft consumer spending sparked a new round of recession fears, helping drive the S&P to its worst-ever five-day start to a year, U.S. stocks tumbled on Tuesday.
In addition, Countrywide Financial was down 238.42 points, or 1.86 percent, at 12,589.07. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 25.99 points, or 1.84 percent, at 1,390.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 58.95 points, or 2.36 percent, at 2,440.51.
AT&T shares fell 4.8 percent to $39.07.
AT&T Inc. is the largest provider of both local and long distance telephone services, wireless service, and DSL Internet access in the United States. AT&T is based in San Antonio, Texas, United States. Formerly SBC Communications, Inc., the company shed its name and took on the iconic AT&T moniker and the T stock-trading symbol (for "telephone") after its acquisition of American Telephone & Telegraph Company (later known as AT&T Corporation).
Since the break-up of AT&T Corp. in 1984, most of the companies spun off from it (the "Baby Bells") have merged into three major US telecommunications groups: Verizon, Qwest, and AT&T Inc. Most of these companies are made up primarily of former components of AT&T Corp. For the new AT&T, these include many Bell Operating Companies and the long distance division. The new AT&T lacks the vertical integration of the historic AT&T Corp. which prompted the antitrust suit and breakup in 1984.
The United States and NATO are conducting provocative activities both in airspace and waters of the Black Sea, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu said