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Thursday 17th of June 2010
August 25, 2006    

Data sends Wall Street lower on week

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by Elaine Frei

At midday on Friday, the New York equities markets seemed poised to end the week lower than they began as weak data and rising crude oil prices hurt investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.2 percent lower for the day and 0.9 percent down on the week to 11,284.45 and the S&P 500 was also 0.2 percent lower for the session so far and 0.6 percent lower for the week to 1,294.18. While the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1 percent higher for the day at 2,139.64, it was 1.1 percent lower on the week.

Among the economic data that contributed to this week’s declining sentiment was a larger than expected decline in the sale of both new and existing homes in July. Durable goods orders were also down in the latest figures. The bad news on home sales hurt the home improvement retail sector, with Home Depot dropping 4.1 percent during the week to $33.36, while Lowe’s lost 10.1 percent to $26.55. Beyond the housing data, Lowe’s was also hurt by a second quarter report that showed profits lower than had been expected.

Other retailers were also down on the week as the slowdown in home sales raised concerns that consumer spending in other areas would also decline. Among consumer electronics retailers, Best Buy dropped 7.1 percent to $45.53, while Circuit City was 12.2 percent lower to $22.50. Discount retailer Dollar General dropped even more, falling 13.2 percent to $12.23.

In the homebuilding sector, KB Home was 8.9 percent lower over the week to $40.44, partly on the news that it is being informally investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for its practices in the granting of stock options.

The news on orders for durable goods affected heavy industry. Caterpillar, the construction equipment maker, declined by 3.5 percent to $65.91, while aerospace company Boeing dropped 4.3 percent to $74.27.

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