Already this week, the aluminum manufacturer Alcoa kicked off the third-quarter earnings season with a disappointing loss. Thursday, shares of grocery store Safeway slipped 3 percent, losing 51 cents to $15.78, after it reported a lower profit margin. Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday dipped 9 cents to $6.93 after reporting lower profit late Wednesday.And that was on top of a stream of separate negative developments Thursday. Among them: The Commerce Department reported that foreign demand declined for American-made cars and farm goods. In Germany, economic researchers predicted the country's growth would slow, and warned that patience for bailing out weaker European countries was evaporating. Unemployment in Greece, one of the countries surviving on bailouts, hit a record high of just more than 25 percent. And the Standard & Poor's ratings agency late Wednesday cut its rating on Spain's debt to just one level above junk status.
Stocks Head Higher, Despite Europe Worries
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