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Stocks in first weekly loss in a month

Trader Peter Tuchman, left, works on the floor

Trader Peter Tuchman, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, when the market drops were triggered in part by the suggestion that Federal Reserve might start easing its bond-buying program soon. (May 23, 2013) Credit: AP

Major stock indexes closed out their first weekly loss in a month in a quiet trading session yesterday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 0.06 percent to close at 1,649.60. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 8.60 points to 15,303.10. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.01 percent to close at 3,459.14.

All three major indexes had their first weekly losses since mid-April. A disappointing manufacturing report out of China and a sharp fall in Japan's stock market rattled investors' nerves this week.

But anxiety over the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program was the main culprit. Some investors interpreted comments from Fed officials to mean that the bank may start pulling its support for the economy sooner than they expected.

The S&P 500, widely used by mutual funds as a proxy for the stock market, lost 1.1 percent for the week. It's still up 15.7 percent for the year.

"It's up like a rocket blast this year," said Marty Leclerc, the managing partner of Barrack Yard Advisors, an investment firm in Bryn Mawr, Pa. "For there to be a little bit of a pullback is perfectly understandable." -- AP

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