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Markets & Stocks

Stocks seep lower
Falling oil prices provide little comfort to investors as stocks slide.
December 2, 2004: 9:39 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Stocks stepped lower after the opening bell Thursday despite falling oil prices.

Within five minutes of the session, the Dow Jones industrial average (up 162.20 to 10,590.22, Charts), Standard & Poor's 500 index (up 17.55 to 1,191.37, Charts), Nasdaq composite index (up 41.42 to 2,138.23, Charts) all lost about 0.3 percent.

Oil prices slipped to an 11-week low in electronic trading Thursday before leveling off. Crude futures fell 65 cents to $44.84 a barrel in electronic trading, while Brent oil futures lost 84 cents to $41.47 a barrel in London.

In economic news, more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. New claims for benefits rose 25,000, the Labor Department said, but the number of long-term claimants fell to their lowest level since April 2001.

The dollar headed downward, but still off a record low versus the euro and a five-year low against the yen.

Bond prices were slightly lower, lifting the yield on the 10-year bond to 4.39 percent from 4.36 percent late Wednesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite direction.

Asian-Pacific stocks rallied Thursday, while the major European indexes rose in afternoon trade.  Top of page

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