Stocks Opened with Losses

U.S. stocks opened with losses on Wednesday, weighed down by political instability in Portugal, turmoil in Egypt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately lost 16.36 points, or 0.11%, to 14,916.05. The S&P 500 fell 4.97 points, or 0.31%, to 1,609.11, while The Nasdaq Composite shed 4.29 points, or 0.12%, to 3,429.11.

Expectations the Federal Reserve will slow its economic stimulus program by the end of the year continued to push mortgage rates higher last week, sapping demand from potential homebuyers, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The U.S. trade deficit widened by 12.1% in May to $45.0 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. This is the largest deficit since last November and was well above expectations.

Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK) said it would sell oil and gas assets in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shales in the United States to a unit of Exco Resources Inc (XCO) for about $1 billion. The sale is part of Chesapeake’s plans to sell up to $7 billion in assets to raise cash.

Institutional investors are tripping over themselves to buy so-called peer-to-peer loans offered by a new breed of Internet lending companies, a development that could transform the nascent sector into significant player in the credit markets.

Benchmark U.S. crude-oil futures rose shot past $101 a barrel Wednesday. Crude for August delivery surged above $102 a barrel during Asian trading hours. The contract was up $2.30, or 2.3%, to $101.88 a barrel, near levels touched in May
2012.

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