Stocks Extend Weekly Loss to Four

U.S. stocks dropped Friday and lost ground for the fourth straight week, as investors slashed their expectations for economic growth and corporate spending. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 172.93 points, or 1.57%, at 10,817.65 and slid 4% for the week. The S&P 500 fell 17.12 points, or 1.50%, to 1,123.53 and slid 4.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite lost 38.59 points, or 1.62%, to 2,341.84 and paced by a 6.6% weekly decline.

Economists at J.P. Morgan on Friday further cut estimates for U.S. economic growth and warned that recession risks are “clearly elevated.” While the outlook for third-quarter growth looks only “moderately softer” than previously projected.

Oil futures inched down Friday, leaving behind modest gains on the back of a weaker dollar to track stocks lower near closing time.  Oil for September delivery retreated 12 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $82.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold futures surged to another record Friday as investors held a dim view of global growth prospects and sought instead the perceived safety of the metal. Gold for December delivery advanced $30.20, or 1.7%, to $1,852.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Moody’s Investors Service on Friday cut the ratings outlook for Hewlett-Packard Co. to negative from stable, citing uncertainty surrounding the technology conglomerate’s plan to shut down its mobile devices business, try spinning off its PC business and pay about $10 billion for business software maker Autonomy Corp.

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