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Stocks End Lower as Bank Fears Stoke Europe Worries

Jeremy Glaser

U.S. Market
Stocks moved lower today as fears over the health of a Portuguese bank banking system roiled global markets.

Worries over the health of the European banking sector were reignited after the parent company of the Portuguese Banco Espírito Santo missed payments on short-term debt issued to some clients. The delay comes on top of accounting irregularities and other financial issues facing the bank.

Initial unemployment claims in the U.S. fell a larger-than-expected 11,000 to 304,000 last week. Claims are now at the lowest level since the middle of 2007. The less-volatile four-week moving average was down 3,500 to 311,500.

At market close the Dow and S&P 500 were each down 0.4% while the Nasdaq was off 0.5%.

Stocks on the Move
Progressive's (PGR) June results show the company continuing to post strong performance. For the second quarter, earned premiums increased 6% year over year. With policies in force in personal lines increasing 3% year over year, it appears the company is still able to pass along modest price increases to offset muted investment income. The combined ratio for the second quarter came in at 92.6%, a slight improvement from 93.3% last year. Shares were down over 2.5% at market close.