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Stocks falter as earnings jitters increase

By Sara Lepro

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Investors seem to be running short on hope.

Stocks hit their longest losing streak on Friday since the market’s spring rally began in early March.

Poor reports on unemployment, consumer confidence and falling commodity prices have kept investors largely out of stocks since mid-June. Investors are also bracing for a busy week of corporate earnings reports next week.

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According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 37 at 8,147. The S&P 500 index is down 4 at 879. The Nasdaq composite index is up 4 at 1,756.

Falling stocks narrowly outpaced those that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to a relatively low 922 million shares.

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