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Stocks stay sluggish after Google leak

Specialists Edward Zelles, left, and Patrick Murphy work

Specialists Edward Zelles, left, and Patrick Murphy work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Oct. 15, 2012) Credit: AP

A mixed batch of earnings and economic reports pulled the stock market lower Thursday. Google plunged 8.01 percent after its weak earnings report was accidentally released hours ahead of schedule.

At the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow was down 8.06 points to 13,548.94, a recovery from where it had been most of the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was off 0.24 percent to 1,457.34. The Nasdaq composite finished down 1.01 percent at 3,072.87.

"This is a market that's waiting for a clear catalyst," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "We basically know what happened in the last quarter," Krosby said. "What we're looking for is what's next: Are we turning a corner? Will demand pick up at the end of the year?"

After the release in early afternoon of what Google called an "unfinished earnings" report, trading in the company's stock was suspended. The company's earnings, which fell far short of analysts' forecasts, were supposed to be released after the market closed.

Falling prices for Internet advertisements and a loss from Motorola Mobility weighed on Google's earnings. Facebook, which also relies on Internet ads, took a turn lower after Google released results. Its stock closed down 90 cents at $18.98.

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