Stocks Opened Lower on Global Concerns

U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday as investors take caution ahead of potential weekend developments in Spain as well as a raft of important economic data expected from China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 41.10 points, or 0.33%, to 12,419.86. The S&P 500 declined 5.66 points, or 0.43%, to 1,309.33. The Nasdaq Composite shed 11.46 points, or 0.40%, to 2,819.56.

Greece’s economy shrank further in the first three months of 2012, shriveling at a yearly rate of 6.5 percent against a backdrop of painful wage cuts, tax hikes and record unemployment. The first quarter Gross Domestic Product preliminary projection was based on seasonally unadjusted data. It topped a previous -6.2 percent year-on-year flash estimate and follows a 7.5 percent year-on-year GDP decline in the last quarter of 2012, statistics service ELSTAT said.

The U.S. trade deficit shrank in April, but only because a big drop in imports offset the first decline in U.S. exports in five months. The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade deficit narrowed 4.9 percent in April to $50.1 billion.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the U.S. energy explorer facing a $22 billion cash shortfall because of falling natural-gas prices, agreed to sell its pipeline interests to Global Infrastructure Partners for $4.08 billion.

Switzerland’s supreme court has ruled that Google doesn’t need to be perfect when it comes to privacy. The Internet giant has won a partial repeal of a lower court decision that required the company to guarantee absolute anonymity for people pictured in its popular Street View service.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) said its FedEx Freight unit will increase its shipping rates by 6.9%, effective July 9. The rate change applies to FedEx Freight shipments within the contiguous U.S. and between the U.S. and Canada and within Canada. The rate between Mexico and the U.S. will also go up by 6.9% only for packages sent from the U.S.

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