Homebuilding stocks were among those leading a slide on Wall Street yesterday.

The Standard & Poor’s homebuilders’ index fell by 4.8%. Shares in Countrywide, the largest US mortgage lender, continued to suffer, and closed at their its lowest level for the year, down 8.1% on the day at $24.46.

Continuing credit concerns were aggravated by a warning from the country's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, which issued a warning on its trading outlook, and mixed economic data.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed down 1.8% at 1,426.54 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.6% down at 13,028.92. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.7% at 2,499.12.