Stocks Lower on Durable Goods Data

U.S. stocks opened lower Friday after data showed durable goods orders rose more than expected in May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 54.72 points to 11,995.28. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 4.63 points to 1,278.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 14.78 points to 2,671.97.

New orders for U.S. manufactured goods and a gauge of business spending plans rose in May. Durable goods orders increased 1.9 percent after dropping 2.7 percent in April, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

Oil prices rose to above $92 a barrel Friday in Asia. Benchmark oil for August delivery was up $1.16 to $92.18 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday confirmed the appointment of Mario Draghi, head of the Bank of Italy, to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank.

Trading in Italian bank stocks was suspended Friday after a sudden drop in share prices. A spokeswoman for Borsa Italiana said the suspension was temporary and was triggered by “technical problems about volatility.” Many other European bank stocks also turned lower.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday efforts to curb inflation have worked, with price gains now back within a controllable range, according to editorial by the Chinese leader published Friday in the Financial Times.

Micron Technology Inc.’s fiscal third-quarter profit sank. For the quarter ended June 2, Micron posted a profit of $75 million, or seven cents a share, down from $939 million, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier. Prior-year results benefited from a $437 million accounting gain stemming from Micron’s acquisition of Numonyx. Revenue declined 6.5% to $2.14 billion.

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