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U.S. stocks retreated, following the first weekly decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since September, as investors weighed prospects for political changes in Europe’s most-indebted countries.
Italian 10-year borrowing costs surged to a euro-era record as the focus shifted from Greece after Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down to create a new unity government. Investors are betting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may be forced to resign if he fails to win majority support in tomorrow’s vote on the 2010 budget report.
Dow 11,888.87 -94.37 -0.79%, Nasdaq 2,651.25 -34.90 -1.30%, S&P 500 1,241.69 -11.54 -0.92%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Alcoa Inc. (AA) fell at least 1.5 percent, for the biggest losses in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Jefferies Group Inc., the investment bank that has battled investor concern that it will be hurt by Europe’s debt crisis, increased 1.7 percent after releasing details of its positions in sovereign bonds. The New York-based firm released a document summarizing its exposure to the debt of Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece. It also published a list of sovereign and government-guaranteed bonds from the five indebted nations in which Jefferies International Ltd. holds a position greater than half a million euros.
The world’s largest biotechnology company Amgen Inc. rose 4.7 percent on plans to buy back as much as $5 billion in common stock for $54-$60 per share.
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