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U.S. stocks down in early trading after European slump

Trader Jonathan Corpina, right, works on the floor

Trader Jonathan Corpina, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stocks are falling broadly in early trading on Friday after steep declines in Europe and some disappointing results from big U.S. companies. Nine of the 10 industry groups of the Standard and Poor's 500 are down, led by the technology sector.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 251 points, or 1.4 percent, to 17,854 as of 10:16 a.m. Friday on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 23 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,081. The Nasdaq composite fell 75 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,932.

MEX TROUBLE: American Express fell $3.88, or 4.8 percent, to $77.02 after its financial results took a blow from the recent sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar. Amex's revenue fell even as its profits increased 6 percent. The stronger dollar made the company's overseas earnings worth less after being converted back into U.S. currency.

FUN AND GAMES: Mattel's stock jumped 74 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.01. After the market closed Thursday, the toymaker reported a smaller quarterly loss than analysts had expected. Mattel's revenue also trumped estimates, helped by strong sales of Hot Wheels.

BLOOMBERG DOWN: Bloomberg LP's trading terminals, which are used by most of the world's biggest financial firms, went down for two and a half hours on Friday due to apparent technical problems, prompting the British government to postpone a planned $4.4 billion debt issue.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite index rose 2.2 percent after data showed that China's economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009 during the first quarter. The data stoked expectations that the country would introduce further stimulus measures to achieve its annual growth target. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent, while Australia's S&P ASX 200 was down 1.2 percent.

CHINA SHORTS: After markets closed in Asia, Chinese financial regulators issued a warning about that country's soaring stock market. Regulators said they will make it easier for investors to bet against the market there, according to The Wall Street Journal. Shanghai's stock market has surged 33 percent so far this year.

GREEK WORRY: Greece and its creditors are still struggling to find a deal that can keep the country from defaulting on its debt. The argument is over what reforms Greece should make in return for loans. Many in the markets think the Greek government will struggle to make payments to the International Monetary Fund due next month if it fails to reach a deal. The jitters have led investors to force borrowing costs for Greece's government higher. The yield on the country's benchmark 10-year bond jumped to 12.69 percent Friday. That's a huge increase from the 5.51 percent the yield was trading at in September.

EUROPE SLUMPS: Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1 percent and France's CAC 40 shed 1.5 percent. Germany's DAX was down 2.1 percent.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude oil slipped 40 cents to $56.67 per barrel in New York. The contract rose 32 cents to settle at $56.71 on Thursday, its highest price this year.

CURRENCIES, BONDS: The dollar rose to 118.99 yen from 118.98 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.0777 from $1.0770. Bond prices fell after the U.S. government reported a slight increase in inflation last month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.90 percent.

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