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Stocks fall on slower growth in China

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By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Friday, April 13, 2012

U.S. stocks fell on Friday on slowing growth in China and ongoing worries about European debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 63 points at 12,923. It jumped 181 points the day before. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell almost seven points, at 1,381. The Nasdaq composite fell 16 points to 3,039.

Concerns about prospects for global growth remained the market focus on Friday. New data showed the Chinese economy grew at an 8.1 percent pace in the January-March period, the slowest pace in almost three years.

Investors also worried about Europe's debt problems. Yields rose for debt in both Italy and Spain, meaning they will have to pay more to borrow. Besides forcing those countries to spend more on interest payments, it's also a sign that lenders continue to be nervous.

The U.S. government reported that inflation was mild in March.

The declines were broad. Only two market sectors tracked by the S&P 500 index rose, utilities and consumer staples stocks. Both industries are considered refuges when investors are fearful of a weakening in the economy or turbulence in financial markets.

The dollar and Treasury prices rose. European markets fell broadly. France's stock index fell 1.9 percent, Germany's fell 1.8 percent. The yield on Spain's 10-year government bond rose to 5.89 percent, Italy's rose to 5.45 percent.

Among stocks making big moves:

• Google fell 2 percent after the company said it would issue new non-voting stock to shareholders.

• Coinstar, which runs the Redbox DVD rental kiosks, rose 12 percent after it raised its revenue forecast.

• Dow Chemical rose 2.4 percent after the company raised its quarterly dividend 28 percent. The company said last week it would eliminate 900 jobs and close several plants.

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