Stocks Extend Losing Streak

U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the Dow index posting its biggest weekly decline of the year as rising interest rates hurt stocks paying high dividends and retail earnings disappointed. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 30.72 points, or 0.20 percent, at 15,081.47. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 5.49 points, or 0.33 percent, at 1,655.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.34 points, or 0.09 percent, at 3,602.78.

Activist investor Carl Icahn’s legal effort to derail a $25 billion takeover of Dell Inc stalled on Friday after a judge refused to fast-track his lawsuit against the company, an integral part of his months-long opposition campaign.

AOL Inc said on Friday that it would cut a substantial number of jobs at its money-losing Patch local news site business, and a source close to the company said about half of the staff of 1,000 was being laid off.

U.S. consumers, bracing for higher interest rates and slightly slower economic growth, were a bit less optimistic in August as sentiment retreated from last month’s six-year high, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment slipped to 80.0 from 85.1 in July, the highest since July 2007.

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