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Stocks Close Positive Week on Down Note


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished sharply lower Friday as soaring Spanish borrowing costs renewed concerns about Europe's debt crisis.

The sour market mood prompted a broad decline across risk asset classes as well as a sharp spike in bond prices with the five-year Treasury yield touching a record low. The latest round of earnings reports were mixed as well, lending little support for equities. Still, the major indices did finish higher for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 121 points, or 0.93%, to close at 12,823. The move pushed the blue-chip index back into negative territory for the month. For the week, though, the Dow rose 0.36%, and the year-to-date gain sits at 4.95%.

The S&P 500 fell 14 points, or 1.01%, to settle at 1363. The benchmark index tacked on 0.43% for the week, and it's now appreciated 8.35% in 2012.

The Nasdaq sank 41 points, or 1.37%, to finish at 2925. It added 0.57% on the week and is up 12.29% year-to-date.

Within the Dow, 27 of the index's 30 components closed lower. The biggest percentage decliners were Bank of America (BAC), Travelers (TRV), Intel (INTC) and McDonald's (MCD).

The blue-chip gainers were Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), General Electric (GE) and Chevron (CVX).

GE shares were rising 1.7% after the company reported second-quarter operating earnings of $4 billion, or 38 cents a share, beating the consensus estimate for a 37-cent profit.

GE's second-quarter revenue totaled $36.5 billion, missing the consensus estimate of $36.8 billion.

Financials were among the biggest losers in the broad markets along with the transportation, technology and consumer cylical sectors.

The European markets were weak as well and the selling accelerated after the government of the Spanish region of Valencia requested its own bailout following the approval by eurozone finance ministers of the bailout terms for Spain's banks, which involves a package valued at up to €100 billion ($122 billion).

The approval of the deal didn't calm investors' nerves over the fate of the eurozone, with Spanish bond yields again hitting levels considered unsustainable and the 10-year remaining above 7%. Demand at a Spanish bond auction Thursday was lackluster.

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