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US stocks fall on stalled European economy


New York: Most major US stock indices fell amid signs that Europe’s economic recovery was stalling.

The 16-member eurozone grew less than expected in the final quarter of 2009, adding just 0.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the European Union’s statistical arm, Eurostat.

Analysts had predicted a quarter-on-quarter growth rate of 0.4 percent in the eurozone, the same figure as in the third quarter.

The stock losses Friday were muted by government figures showing US retail sales climbed 0.5 percent in January, which was better than expected. Technology stocks gained on the day.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 45.05 points, or 0.44 percent, to 10,099.14. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 2.96 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,075.51. But the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.12 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,183.53.

After a volatile five days for global stocks, led by uncertainty over Greece’s budget deficit, the Dow and S&P 500 ended the week up 0.87 percent, while the Nasdaq jumped 1.98 percent.

The US currency gained against the euro to 73.35 euro cents from 73.03 euro cents Thursday. The dollar also gained against the Japanese currency to 89.97 yen from 89.72 yen the previous day.