Stocks Opened Lower on Weak Production Data

The U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday after industrial production data disappointed investors by showing a drop in January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately slipped 18.76 points, or 0.12% at 16,008.83. The S&P 500 was down 2.11 points, or 0.12%, at 1,827.72. The Nasdaq Composite was off 9.39 points, or 0.22%, at 4,231.28.

Industrial production dropped 0.3% in January, the Federal Reserve reported Friday, with the cold weather knocking manufacturing output by 0.8% and mining output by 0.9%, which more than offset the 4.1% surge in utilities output on heating demand.

The prices paid for imported goods rose 0.1% in January, led by a strong increase in imports excluding fuel, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Oil prices slipped closer to $100 a barrel Friday as fresh U.S. economic data and higher-than-expected crude supplies pointed to weaker demand. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was down 16 cents to $100.19 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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