Stock Edged Lower at the Start

U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading on Friday,  after Spain’s prime minister said his country will miss its deficit targets this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 23.39 points to 12,956.91. The S&P 500 declined 2.65 points to 1,371.44. The Nasdaq Composite was down 2.04 points to 2,986.93.

Spain’s prime minister said Friday that his recession-ridden country will miss its deficit goal for this year, risking sanctions from the European Union. The announcement came as the government reported more grim economic news: a big rise in claims for jobless benefits last month and a new forecast that Spanish economic output will fall 1.7 percent this year, worse than the 1 percent forecast recently by the EU and the 1.5 percent predicted just week ago by Madrid itself.

The leaders of 25 European countries on Friday signed a new treaty designed to prevent the 17 members of the eurozone from living beyond their means and avoid a repeat of the region’s crippling debt crisis.

Facebook Inc plans to increase its $2.5 billion credit line to help cover a major tax hit when employee stock awards vest shortly after it goes public, according to two sources familiar with the company’s plans.

Yelp Inc. priced its initial public of 7.1 million shares at $15 per share late Thursday — coming in above its previously expected price range of $12-$14 per share.

Oil prices fell slightly to near $108 a barrel Friday in Asia after Saudi Arabia denied an Iranian media report of an explosion at a Saudi pipeline. Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 41 cents to $108.43 at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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