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Feb. 25, 2013 at 6:53 PM
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Dow tumbles Monday

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes dropped sharply Monday, losing 216 points after starting with gains that evaporated by midday.

Analysts have said markets are due for a correction, defined as a 10 percent drop after a sustained run up. Markets dropped sharply Wednesday and Thursday last week, although the regained some lost territory on Friday.

On Monday, the Dallas Federal Reserve said manufacturing in Texas remained in growth mode in February, but at a slower pace than January. In China, the HSBC Purchasing Manager's Index also showed growth that was marginal, not robust.

By close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 216.40 points or 1.55 percent to 13,784.17. The Standard and Poor's 500 lost 27.75 points or 1.83 percent to 1,487.85 points. The Nasdaq composite gave up 45.57 points or 1.44 percent to 3,116.25.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 675 stocks advanced and 2,414 declined on a volume of 3.9 billion shares traded.

The 10-year U.S. treasury rose 29/32 Monday to yield 1.867 percent.

Against the dollar the euro fell to $1.3079 from Friday's $1.3217. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 93.12 yen from 94.55 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed at 11,662.52 points, up 276.58 points or 2.43 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index added 0.31 percent, 19.67 points, to 6,355.37.

Treasury gradually unloads GM stock

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said it realized $156.4 million from sales of General Motors stock in January.

The department is expected to unload its approximately 300 million shares on the open market by the end of 2014.

It plans to do so gradually, using a trading plan that has not been made public so that hedge funds cannot corner the market, The Detroit News reported Monday.

In January, it sold about 5.4 million shares for $27.61 to $29.16 per share, the News reported.

The department, at one point, expected to lose $44 billion in bailouts to GM, Chrysler and automotive lender Ally Financial.

That has been gradually reduced. The Treasury Department now expects to lose $14.3 billion on the bailouts that were funded by the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The government still owns 74 percent of Ally Financial. It once owned 61 percent of GM but that has been reduced to less than 19 percent.

NHTSA looking at Ford engine power loss

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. traffic safety regulators said they are investigating four models of Ford cars because of complaints of engine power loss.

The investigation involves 724,000 Ford Escape and Fusion, and Mercury Mariner and Milan models from model years 2009-11, which have generated 123 reports filed at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company, meanwhile, has received more than 1,400 complaints about engines that reportedly stall or lose power even at cruising speeds.

The engines do not technically stall each time. But the loss of power causes many drivers to assume the engine has shut down, The Detroit News reported Monday.

"We are cooperating fully with NHTSA on this investigation, as we do on all investigations," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.

Ford and parts company Delhi in October 2010 made adjustments to the manufacture of circuit boards considered the cause of the problem.

NHTSA said the problem was diagnosed trouble with electronic throttles that results in throttles stuck open and closed positions.

NHTSA said vehicles made from June 2009 to October 2009 may be outfitted with the faulty circuit boards. Cars made after Oct. 15, 2009, have circuit boards made by the newer manufacturing process.

China's PMI shows growth slowing

BEIJING, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- China's non-manufacturing sector expanded in February, but at a slower pace than the previous month, a key business index indicated.

A flash estimate of China's Purchasing Managers' Index, which shows expansion with numbers above 50, measured 50.4 in February, down from January's reading of 52.3, Markit Economics reported Monday.

In its most recent peak, the index stood at 58 in March 2012.

Separate indexes for new orders, production output, number of employees and quantity of purchases all showed gains, but at a slower rate than January, Markit said.

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