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U.S. stocks sink as S&P 500 heads for another losing week

The Wall Street sign near the front of

The Wall Street sign near the front of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 5, 2011. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in midday trading Friday, on course for another losing week. Disappointing quarterly results from several companies and increased worry that China's economy is slowing weighed on the market. Health care and materials stocks were among the biggest decliners.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 97 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,634 as of 12:28 p.m. Friday on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,091. The Nasdaq composite lost 12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,133.

THE QUOTE: Concerns about the lack of growth in the economy and in company revenues were weighing on the market, said Brad Sorensen, managing director of market and sector analysis at Schwab Center for Financial Research.

In addition to some "tepid results" from U.S. companies, Sorensen said, "some of today's action can (also) be attributable to China having a relatively weak manufacturing reading. That feeds into the global growth concerns that have been growing with lower commodity prices."

ROUGH WEEK: Stocks kicked off the week on a strong note, driving the Nasdaq to its latest record high and brining the S&P 500 close to a new milestone of its own. But it's been downhill since then. The Dow fell into negative territory for the year on Thursday. If Friday's losses hold, the S&P 500 will have had its fourth losing week out of the last five.

REVENUE DRAG: Biotechnology company Biogen and pharmaceutical company AbbVie both reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit, but their revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts. Biogen slid $72.71, or 18.9 percent, to $312.34. AbbVie declined $2, or 2.8 percent, to $68.52.

OFF THE MARK: Capital One Financial sank 12.5 percent a day after the credit card issuer and lender reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that failed to meet financial analysts' expectations. The stock slid $11.38 to $79.39.

GETTING TOGETHER: Anthem has agreed to buy rival Cigna for $48 billion in a deal that would create the nation's largest health insurer by enrollment, covering about 53 million U.S patients. Investors did not immediately welcome the news. Anthem fell $3.59, or 2.3 percent, to $151.62, while Cigna lost $7.35, or 4.8 percent, to $147.01.

DELIVERING RESULTS: Amazon surged 15.4 percent a day after the e-commerce pioneer reported a surprise profit. The stock rose $74.21 to $556.39. Starbucks also served up strong earnings late Thursday. Its shares were up $1.23, or 2.2 percent, to $57.79.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX was down 1.4 percent, while the CAC-40 in France slipped 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 1.1 percent. In Asia, investors were spooked by further evidence of a sizeable economic slowdown in China after a closely watched indicator of the country's manufacturing sector slumped to a 15-month low in July. China's Shanghai Composite Index sank 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 43 cents to $48.02 a barrel in New York. Brent crude was down 84 cents at $54.42 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.27 percent.


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