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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Down At Midday

After opening slightly up, Wall Street took a late morning dive following an unexpected drop in June consumer confidence.

At noon, the Dow was down about 121 points, or about 1.4 percent.

The broader S&P 500 was down 1.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 0.8 percent.

The low volume and short trading week also are to blame for today's slump.

The Conference Board reported in late morning that its June consumer confidence index took a surprise dive in June, after big jumps in April and May.

"The decline in the Present Situation Index, caused by a less favorable assessment of business conditions and employment, continues to imply that economic conditions, while not as weak as earlier this year, are nonetheless weak," Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. "Looking ahead, Expectations continue to suggest less negative conditions in the months ahead, as opposed to strong growth."

The news that consumers suddenly took a dim view of the economy's future sank stocks. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. GDP.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  June 30, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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