Stocks retreat as weak earnings provide no joy

Stocks sink on Wall Street following uninspiring earnings reports; European markets also sag

Associated Press
Stocks retreat as Europe, earnings weigh
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 file photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Stock markets around the world are mixed, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Investors in Japan took profits following a huge rally, while those in China pulled back ahead of a weeklong holiday. However, European markets are higher in early trading. Futures point to a rise when trading opens on Wall Street Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market closed lower, and the rally which has pushed indexes close to record levels stalled.

Stocks fell as weaker earnings and worries about Europe overshadowed healthier signs for the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 42 points to 13,944 Thursday, after falling as much as 134 points earlier. The index has traded largely sideways this week, after logging its best January in almost two decades.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 3 points to 1,509 and the Nasdaq composite also dropped 3 points, to 3,165.

Decliner stocks outpaced advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume of 3.53 billion shares on the New York stock Exchange was above average.

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