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 more than 3 percent, losing 58 cents to $15.71, after it reported a lower profit margin.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 one level above junk status.
Market Flatlines, Pulled By Jobless Claims, Europe
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