US stocks edge lower as Japanese market slumps

Stocks edge lower on Wall Street as Japanese market slides again; H&R Block falls

Associated Press
US stock market moves sharply higher
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In this Monday, June 10, 2013 photo, traders Joel Lucchese, left, and Brandon Barb confer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets endured sharp losses Thursday June 13, 2013 as gyrations on the Tokyo market, the Asian region's biggest, continued _ fueled by worries about a surging yen and monetary policies in the U.S. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging lower in early trading on Wall Street after the Japanese market took another plunge.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,975 in the first few minutes of trading Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell a point, or 0.07 percent, to 1,611. The Nasdaq composite was down three points, 0.1 percent, to 3,397.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index slumped 6.4 percent as doubts grew that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic turnaround plan will succeed. The Japanese market is down 20.4 percent since May 22. It's still up 44.9 percent over the past year.

In the U.S., H&R Block fell 80 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $27.83 after reporting earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations.

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