Original Source

Monday February 4 3:30 PM ET

Stocks Slide More on Accounting Fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell to fresh session lows in late afternoon trading on Monday as investor confidence about corporate accounting eroded.

"You can't believe financial statements," said Mace Blicksilver, a money manager at Marblehead Asset Management. "It's not like just a bad quarter or an earnings miss--you're re-evaluating the entire price-to-earnings ratio of the market place. You wonder how far the ripples go."

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - average (^DJI - news) skidded 204.8 points, or 2.07 percent, to 9,702.46. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^SPX - news) lost 26.75 points, or 2.38 percent, to 1,095.45, on track for its lowest close since early November. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC - Index (^IXIC - news) fell 56.96 points, or 2.98 percent, to 1,854.28.

Wall Street is grappling with "Enronophobia," a crisis of confidence after energy trading giant Enron Corp.'s (ENRNQ.PK) complicated accounting problems led to its record collapse and cast a pall over the market.

Shares of firms with complex financial structures, ranging from conglomerates Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC - (NYSE:TYC - news) and General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE - (NYSE:GE - news) to drugmaker Elan Corp. (NYSE:ELN - (NYSE:ELN - news) and network equipment maker Enterasys Networks Inc. (NYSE:ETS - (NYSE:ETS - news), fell. Telecommunications stocks slid on worries a recent rash of bankruptcies will snowball.