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U.S. stocks declined for a fifth straight day, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its longest losing streak since November, amid concern about Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and as commodities tumbled.
Investors awaited the start of the first-quarter earnings season. While S&P 500 per-share profit growth slowed to 0.8 percent during the first three months of the year from 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter and 15 percent in the three months ended in September, it will accelerate to 8.3 percent during all of 2012, according to analyst estimates.
Dow 12,769.06 -160.53 -1.24%, Nasdaq 3,003.81 -43.27 -1.42%, S&P 500 1,364.08 -18.12 -1.31%
Bank of America (ВАС) slipped 4.1 percent to $8.56. Caterpillar (САТ) fell 3.3 percent to $100.17.
Alcoa (AA) lost 2.8 percent to $9.33. It is scheduled to release first-quarter results after the market close. It will post a loss of 4 cents a share, according to the average of estimates.
Best Buy slumped 3.4 percent to $21.88 after also saying board member G. Mike Mikan is taking the position on an interim basis as the company focuses on smaller stores and Internet sales. The change was a “mutual agreement” that new leadership was needed, the Richfield, Minnesota-based company said today in a statement. A committee of directors has been created to search for a new CEO, the company said.
Supervalu Inc. surged 9 percent to $5.80. The supermarket and pharmacy chain forecast 2013 earnings excluding some items of at least $1.27 a share, beating the average analyst forecast of $1.19.
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