Stocks Opened Weak on Path to Quarterly Losses

U.S. stocks tumbled at the opening on Friday as data showing American incomes fell in August combined with poor Chinese manufacturing data and rising euro zone inflation to keep Wall Street on course for a steep quarterly loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135.93 points, or 1.2%, to 11,018.05. The S&P 500 index dropped 1.5% to 1,143.16 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.7% t0 2,439.75.

Incomes fell for the first time in nearly two years in August and consumers dug into their savings to keep spending, according to a government report that showed the impact of the weak jobs market. The Commerce Department said on Friday spending rose 0.2 percent, in line with economists’ expectations, after increasing 0.7 percent in July. When adjusted for inflation, however, spending was unchanged after rising 0.4 percent in July.

China’s factory sector eased for a third consecutive month in September, suggesting that the world’s second-largest economy is not immune to global headwinds, while factory inflation quickened.

Oil prices slipped below $82 on Friday as the dollar strengthened and doubts remained about the resiliency of the economic recovery and Europe’s struggle with its debt crisis. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude was down 45 cents to $81.69 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Starbucks Corp’s (NasdaqGS:SBUX) business is “still very strong” despite months of economic turmoil that has weakened sales at other major restaurant chains, Chief Executive Howard Schultz told Reuters on Thursday.

The rock-bottom price of the new Kindle Fire tablet computer is raising questions about Inc’s ability to keep up with demand and the device’s effect on the company’s already razor-thin profit margins.





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