Wall Street slips on earnings risks

The Australian – US stocks fell as another drop in oil prices and a warning from Toyota Motor underscored the unsparing nature of the slowdown.

Toyota forecast an operating loss for the current year, the first in the car maker’s history. The Japanese giant was thought to have developed a watertight strategy that would yield profits through thick and thin, making it the subject of managerial guides like the 2004 book The Toyota Way.

But the spreading recession caught up on Toyota, too, and it blamed a slump in the global automobile market and a sharp appreciation in the Japanese yen against major currencies for a likely loss. American depositary shares of Toyota fell $US3.50, or 5.45 per cent, to $US60.88.

General Motors was by far the weakest stock on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, falling US97 cents, or 22 per cent, to 3.52. Analysts warned that the Government rescue measure may not be enough to keep the car and truck maker out of bankruptcy court.

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