Stocks lost ground on Friday, hurt by worries about Europe and lingering concerns about the global economy. With the slide, Wall Street surrendered some of the gains posted earlier in the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 120.79 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 12,822.57. The Nasdaq slipped 40.60 points, or 1.4 percent, to end at 2,925.30. The S&P 500 dropped 13.85 points, or 1 percent, to finish at 1,362.66.
Europe was in focus during the session. The eurozone finance ministers gave final approval for a 100 billion euro bailout deal for troubled Spanish banks. The decision to backstop the Spanish banking sector was unanimous.
In the beginning, 30 billion euros will be set aside for use in case of "urgent unexpected financing needs," the Eurogroup said. The first tranche is likely to be made available by the end of this month.
Wall Street's decline was also partly due to profit taking following recent gains on the stock market, which lifted the major averages back toward near-term resistance.
The markets also digested the latest batch of earnings news, including quarterly results from tech giants Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG).
After the close of trading on Thursday, Microsoft reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings of $0.73 per share, ahead of the $0.62 per share consensus estimate. Revenues, adjusted for deferred revenues, rose 7 percent to $18.60 billion, ahead of the consensus estimate.
Microsoft slipped 55 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close at $30.11.
Google's second quarter adjusted earnings rose to $10.12 per share from $8.74 per share last year. Revenues, excluding traffic acquisition costs, totaled $8.36 billion, slightly shy of the $8.41 billion expected by analysts.
Google climbed $17.76, or nearly 3 percent, to end at $610.82.
Diversified conglomerate General Electric (GE) released its second quarter results before the start of trading, reporting earnings that exceeded estimates but on slightly weaker than expected revenues.
GE finished nearly flat on the session, rising by just 7 cents to close at $19.87.
Steel stocks moved sharply lower. Universal Stainless (USAP) led the sector lower, plummeting by 13.6 percent after reporting weaker than expected second quarter results.
Railroad, networking, and software stocks also came under pressure on the day. There was notable strength among oil service and housing stocks, helping to limit the downside for the markets.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.4 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index ended the day down by 0.7 percent.
The major European markets also showed notable moves to the downside on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 1.1 percent, while the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index plunged 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
by RTT Staff Writer
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