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Stocks open lower, keeping Dow from 5-year high

August 20, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
(Bloomberg )

NEW YORK -- Europe has yet to solve its debt crisis. Congress has yet to avert a plunge off the so-called fiscal cliff. The Federal Reserve may or may not inject another round of cheap money into the economy.

But the Dow Jones industrial average has been creeping up in recent weeks, approaching a five-year high -- a level not seen since the Great Recession officially began in late 2007.

The Dow lost 43 points, or 0.3%, to 13,233 in early trading on Wall Street on Monday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,413. The Nasdaq was down 14 points, or 0.5%, to 3,062.

Monday morning's pull-back came as European leaders gave investors reason to question assurances the Eurozone debt crisis would be solved.

Germany's central bank criticized the European Central Bank's plan to ease government borrowing costs through bond purchases, according to Bloomberg News.

“The Bundesbank holds to the opinion that government bond purchases by the Eurosystem are to be seen critically and entail significant stability risks,” the news agency quoted the German bank as saying. 

Investors may also get hints of the Federal Reserve's plans for further monetary stimulus when the U.S. central bank on Wednesday releases minutes from its July 31-Aug. 1 meeting.

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