News Summary: Weak earnings sink the stock market

TRIPLE WHAMMY: Poor earnings reports from three big-name companies, all of them members of the Dow Jones industrial average, helped sink the stock market Friday. McDonald's, GE and Microsoft turned in disappointing third-quarter results and paid the price: stock declines of between 3 and 4 percent.

WORST SINCE JUNE: The Dow had its worst single-day fall since June, ending with a loss of 205 points. Other indicators fell even more in percentage terms. The Nasdaq composite gave up 2.2 percent, the S&P 500 fell 1.7 percent. The Dow's loss was slightly smaller, 1.5 percent.

A WASH FOR THE WEEK: The slump mostly wiped out the market's gains in an otherwise strong week. The Dow eked out a gain of 0.1 percent, the S&P rose 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq ended the week with a loss of 1.3 percent.