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U.S. Markets End Lower After Major Portuguese Lender Scared the World

Major averages finished Thursday slightly lower. The S&P 500 lost 8 points, the Dow lost 71 points, and the Nasdaq lost 23 points. All losses were within half a percent. Portugal sent waves to the U.S. after the parent company of Banco Espirito Santo, the second largest lender in that country, missed short-term debt payments. Portuguese Central Bank officials said Banco Espirito Santo's debts are protected, but global markets panicked still. As a result of safety seekers, gold rallied 1% and silver rallied almost 2%. In the U.S., initial jobless claims report showed unemployment benefits fell to 304,000 last week. The four-week moving average also fell more than 3,000 to just a little over 311,000.