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Stocks open lower as earnings jitters increase

July 11, 2009|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrials and the Standard & Poor's 500 fell Friday, finishing with their fourth straight weekly decline, the longest such losing streak since the market's spring rally began in early March.

The Dow dropped 36.65 points, or 0.4%, to 8,146.52, and the S&P 500 lost 0.4%. But the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.2%. For the week, the Dow fell 1.6%, the S&P slid 1.9% and the Nasdaq dropped 2.3%.

The Russell 2,000 index of smaller companies rose 0.4% Friday.

Declining stocks narrowly outpaced those that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of oil producers fell sharply Friday after Chevron, warning that the profit margin in its refining operation narrowed in the second quarter, said its earnings for the period would be down sharply from a year earlier.

In another blow to the energy sector, oil prices resumed their descent after a slight pop Thursday ended a six-day streak of losses.

Crude futures fell 52 cents to settle at $59.89. Last week, they touched an eight-month high of $73. Shares of Chevron fell 2.7%; Exxon Mobil fell 1.3%.

Yields on government bonds fell. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped to 3.29% from 3.41% late Thursday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices slipped.

Overseas, key stock indexes fell 0.8% in Britain, 1.2% in Germany and 1.4% in France. Shares in Japan edged lower.

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