Stocks Ended Mostly Lower as Wal-Mart Tumbled

U.S. stocks finished mostly lower on Friday  on weak retail sales worries following a leaked Wal-Mart Stores Inc.email. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 8.37 points, or less than 0.1%, at 13,981.76, but finished down 0.1% for the week. The S&P 500 fell 1.59 points, or 0.1%, to close at 1,519.79, but closed 0.1% higher on the week for its seventh straight week of gains. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 6.63 points, or 0.2%, to close at 3,192.03, and fell 0.1% for the week.

February monthly sales are a “total disaster,” a Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)  vice president wrote in an email to executives, Bloomberg reported Friday afternoon. Disappointing sales figures were driven by payroll-tax increases that hit shoppers who were already battling tough economic conditions.

The Group of 20 nations will not single out Japan over the weak yen and will disregard a call from G7 powers not to use economic policies to target exchange rates, according to a communique drafted for finance leaders meeting in Moscow.

Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in December. The Treasury Department said Friday that foreign holdings of U.S. Treasurys rose 0.3 percent in December from November to $5.56 trillion. It was the 12th consecutive monthly gain.

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