Stocks edge mostly lower, keeping them on track for biggest weekly loss since April


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FILE - This Jan. 4, 2010 file photo shows an historic marker on Wall Street in New York. U.S. stocks are opening lower Friday, July 11, 2014, and are headed for their biggest weekly loss since April. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)


NEW YORK — Stocks edged mostly lower Friday as investors assessed corporate news. The stock market is headed for its biggest weekly loss since April after ending the previous week at a record high.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped one point, less than 0.1 percent, to 1,964 as of 10:51 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,900. The Nasdaq composite gained nine points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,401.

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: Tobacco company Lorillard rose $3.16, or 5 percent, to $66.24, after rival Reynolds American confirmed it was in talks with Lorillard and British American Tobacco, its largest shareholder, about an acquisition. Reynolds fell 87 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $61.38.

SALES MISS: Industrial and construction supplies company Fastenal dropped $2.48, or 5.1 percent, to $45.80 after the company reported sales that fell short of analyst's expectations. The company said revenue climbed 12 percent to $949.9 million from $847.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts expected $951 million.

THE EARNINGS TAPE: As companies start reporting their second-quarter earnings, investors are expecting to see more growth in profits. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are forecast to rise by 6.5 percent, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.

JITTERY WEEK: The S&P 500 index is poised for its biggest weekly loss since the week ending April 11 after closing out the previous week at a record high. Stocks retreated from all-time highs this week as investors worried the rally may have overreached. Worries about the soundness of a Portuguese bank also spooked U.S. investors.

The S&P 500 has dropped 1.1 percent this week, its biggest drop since the week ending April 11 when investors sold stocks following some disappointing bank earnings.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls when prices climb, dropped to 2.52 percent from 2.54 percent late Thursday. The price of oil fell $1, or 0.1 percent, to $101.93.

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