Stocks Open Lower as Consumer Spending Falls

U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday, after U.S. consumer spending fell in April and ahead of data on consumer confidence and business activity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately lost 6.68 points, or 0.04%, to 15,317.85.  The S&P 500 index shed 0.92 points, or 0.06%, to 1,653.49. The Nasdaq Composite declined 2.75 points, or 0.08%, to  3,488.55.

Consumers pulled back on spending in April as their income remained steady, according to a government report Friday. The report showed spending fell 0.2% in the month when adjusted for inflation. Economists had forecast a 0.1% rise.

The board at Dell said that a takeover bid led the company’s founder and CEO is in the best interest of shareholders  at the slumping PC maker, and asked them to approve the deal when it’s put to a vote in July. The board unanimously  recommended the offer from Michael Dell to take the company private for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

OPEC oil ministers have decided to keep the organization’s output target at 30 million barrels a day. The decision of the 12-nation oil cartel was expected. The price for internationally traded benchmark oil is over $100 barrels a day, which is a level most OPEC countries are happy with.

Apple Inc hiked prices of iPads and iPods in Japan on Friday, becoming the latest and highest-profile brand to join a growing list of foreign firms asking Japanese consumers to pay more as a weakening yen squeezes income.

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