Stocks fall on Europe’s borrowing costs

Posted: April 14, 2012

It was another losing week on Wall Street after worries about Europe returned.

Stocks closed lower on Friday and ended their worst week of the year so far. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.6 percent for the week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 2 percent.

The Dow is still ahead 5 percent for the year after a gangbusters first quarter.

On Friday the Dow lost 136.99 points to close at 12,849.59, a loss of 1.1 percent. It was down all day but the losses got worse in the last half-hour. The decline wiped out much of the Dow’s 181-point gain the day before.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 17.31 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,370.26. The Nasdaq composite fell 44.22 points, 1.5 percent, to 3,011.33.

Investors had several reasons to wonder about the prospects for global economic growth. Higher borrowing costs in Europe reminded investors that the continent’s debt problems aren’t over. Growth slowed in China. And a closely watched gauge of consumer confidence came in weaker than analysts were expecting.

European markets fell broadly. The dollar and Treasury prices rose. Oil dropped 81 cents to $102.83 per barrel. New data showed that the Chinese economy grew at an 8.1 percent pace in the January-March period, the slowest in almost three years.

Bank of America Corp. fell 5.3 percent. Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. both reported better-than-expected profits, but each fell more than 3.5 percent as investors focused on comments that the overhang from bad loans would continue.

Apple Inc. fell 2.8 percent after reports that a German court ruled against it in a patent fight with Motorola over mobile e-mail technology.

Google fell 4 percent after the company said it would issue new nonvoting stock to shareholders.

Coinstar, which runs the Redbox DVD rental kiosks, rose 7.3 percent after it raised its revenue forecast.

Dow Chemical rose 1.6 percent after it raised its quarterly dividend 28 percent. The company said last week it would eliminate 900 jobs and close several plants.

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