Stocks Slide, Post Worst Week in Over Year

U.S. stocks extended a multi-session losing streak Friday, sending the Dow average and the S&P 500 to their worst weeks in over a year, on fears U.S. lawmakers wouldn’t resolve a debt crisis threatening an already cooling U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 96.87 points, or 0.79%, to 12,143.24. It lost 4.2% for the week and 2.2% for July. The S&P 500 fell 8.39 points, or 0.65%, to 1,292.28. It lost 3.9% for the week and 2.2% for the month. The Nasdaq Composite lost 9.87 points, or 0.36%, to 2,756.38. It dropped 3.6% for the week and 0.6% for the month.

In an unforgiving display of partisanship, the House passed emergency legislation Friday night to avoid an unprecedented government default and the Senate scuttled it less than two hours later.

Moody’s Investors Service said late Friday that the United States should be able to keep its triple-A credit rating as long as Washington works out a deal that lets it continue to pay bondholders.

Google Inc. has bought about 1,000 pending and issued patents from IBM Corp. in its quest to shore up its defenses against suits by other technology companies, according to documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Merck & Co. plans to cut as many as 13,000 more jobs under a new round of restructuring as the drugmaker prepares for generic competition for its top-selling drug and slower revenue growth in the U.S. and Europe.

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