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Stocks Finish Mixed on Late Weakness

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages finished mixed on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its first down week of the month.

Equities were in positive territory for most of the session with investor sentiment lifted by hopes for clarity on a rescue program for Spain, strong quarterly results from homebuilder KB Home (KBH) and the global availability of Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone 5, but selling pressure arrived in the final hour.

The Dow fell more than 17 points, or 0.13%, to close at 13,580. The blue-chip index, which was up nearly 50 points at its high for the day, snapped a three-session winning streak and was down 0.10% for the week.

Decliners outpaced advancers within the Dow, 17 to 13. The biggest losers were Alcoa (AA), Cisco (CSCO) and Coca-Cola (KO).

Blue-chip winners included Exxon (XOM), General Electric (GE), and McDonald's (MCD), which rose 0.60% after announcing a 15% dividend hike.

The S&P 500 was down incrementally, slipping 0.01%, to settle at 1460. The index finished the week down 0.41%. The Nasdaq was the lone winner, adding 4 points, or 0.13%, to close at 3180. The tech-heavy index lost 0.12% on the week.

The strongest sectors in the broad market were health care and energy. Transportation, basic materials and consumer non-cyclicals were in the red. Volume totaled 4.75 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and 2.53 billion on the Nasdaq.

There was some optimism in early trading following a report that European Union officials are working to pave the way for a new rescue program for Spain. The Financial Times said an economic reform package for Spain is expected to be revealed next week.

The paper said the program will concentrate on structural reforms for Spain's economy instead of more taxes and spending cuts.

"With the decision-making process of the Euro area distilled down to a very small number of people, such stories are just speculative," noted Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS. "However, Spanish conditions relating to structural reform not fiscal targets would be helpful, as Spain stands a good chance of missing its fiscal targets."

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