Stocks drop, consumer confidence slides

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks extended their losses in mid-morning trading on Tuesday after a key measure of consumer confidence slumped to its lowest level in four months, raising questions about the health of consumer spending. The weaker-than-expected data knocked the wind out of stocks, which had been straddling the unchanged mark. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC slumped 31.35

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks extended their losses in mid-morning trading on Tuesday after a key measure of consumer confidence slumped to its lowest level in four months, raising questions about the health of consumer spending.

The weaker-than-expected data knocked the wind out of stocks, which had been straddling the unchanged mark.

The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC slumped 31.35 points, or 1.64 percent, to 1,881.06.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI lost 116.32 points, or 1.12 percent, to 10,266.03, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX dropped 11.97 points, or 1.02 percent, to 1,167.24.

The Conference Board, a private New York research firm, reported its U.S. consumer confidence index dropped to 114.3 in August - well below expectations for a reading of 117.0 - from July's revised 116.3, as a weakening job market weighed on consumers.

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