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Why the Dow Fell Today

John Divine
October 18, 2012

Markets were down across the board today, as a bizarre, premature earnings release by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) highlighted the day's events. The Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEX: ^DJI  ) fell eight points, to close at 13,548.

Needless to say, Google's results disappointed investors, and the stock immediately fell off a cliff, prompting trading to be halted for a number of hours before finally resuming. Google ended up losing 8% on the day.

The latest figures released on China showed growth slowing for a seventh consecutive quarter. Although it's the slowest annual growth rate in three years, the 7.4% uptick was consistent with expectations. The figures come on the heels of data released Monday showing that inflation in the world's second-largest economy fell to 1.9% in September, which could be a sign that government policies are beginning to work.

The Labor Department also