Stocks on Wall Street fell for a third straight session as investors continued to fret about the health of the global economy.
New data included an unexpected rise in US weekly jobless claims while technology bellwether Cisco Systems reported revenue that fell short of forecasts and offered a gloomy sales outlook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 58.88 points, or 0.6%, down at 10,319.95. It fell as much as 110 points early in the session before recovering some ground.
The S&P 500 index was off 0.5% at 1083.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.8% to 2190.27. All indexes are down at least 3% for the week.
A bright spot for investors was General Motors reporting a $US1.3 billion second-quarter profit, a stark contrast to its nearly $US13 billion loss a year ago.
GM, which is largely government owned, is expected to file registration papers for an initial public offering by the end of this week and is looking to begin selling stock to the public by the end of the year.
Chairman Edward E. Whitacre Jr. said he would step down from his chief executive role from September 1 and be replaced by board member Daniel Akerson.
Other markets: Europe up, Asia down
European shares ended with small gains after steep declines in the previous session.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended with a gain of 0.1% at 254.94 after fluctuating between small gains and losses over the course of the day.
Economic news included euro-zone industrial production dropping 0.1% in June and Greece's economy contracting 1.5% in second quarter.
Bank stocks were broadly lower, with Bank of Ireland shares falling 1.8% and Allied Irish Banks down 1.3% after a media report that the European Central Bank stepped in and purchased short-dated Irish government bonds. The Irish Iseq 20 index lost 0.3% to 466.74.
The German DAX index declined 0.3% to close at 6135.17, the French CAC-40 index lost 0.2% to end at 3621.07 and the UK FTSE 100 index closed 0.4% higher at 5266.06.
The Japanese market led Asian stocks lower, falling as much as 2.4% during the session after the US dollar touched a 15-year low against the yen. The Nikkei Stock Average recovered from some of its losses, finishing down 0.9% at 9212.59.
In China, the Shanghai Composite, fell 1.2% to 2575.48 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.9% to 21105.71.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2% to 4400.89. In Seoul, the Kospi Index fell 2.1%, finishing at 1721.75, its lowest level in more than a month.
India's Sensitive Index closed flat at 18,073.90. Taiwan's Taiex gave up 0.8% to end at 7829.79 and Singapore's Straits Times Index closed down 0.8% at 2927.04.
Commodities: Oil down, gold up
Crude futures dropped for the third-consecutive session, falling below $US77 a barrel for the first time this month.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery traded $US1.82, or 2.4%, lower at $US76.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded down $US1.78 at $US75.86 a barrel.
Gold futures extended gains to their highest point in nearly a month.
The most actively traded gold contract for December delivery was up $US15.60, or 1.3%, at $US1214.80 an ounce in New York. The intraday peak of $US1218.50 was the highest since July 15.
Currencies: Dollar up
The US dollar rose against the yen after Japanese officials ramped up their rhetoric against their currency's recent strength.
Rising fears of a global economic slowdown also benefited the dollar and weighed on the euro and other higher-yielding currencies.
The Bank of Japan is asking commercial banks for details of their currency transactions, driving home the message that the Japanese government isn't happy with the yen's appreciation.
Checking rates is considered a type of verbal intervention, but a step But direct intervention in the market is not expected at this stage.
In New York, the euro was at $US1.2856 from $US1.2882 late on Wednesday. The dollar was at ¥85.92 from ¥85.37, while the euro was at ¥110.46 from ¥109.99. The UK pound was at $US1.5578 from $US1.5683.
Fri, 13 Aug 2010