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Updated to reflect late market action, closing share price.



) --

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

shares pared losses of as much 5% on Friday but still closed down for a third-straight session.

Earlier in the afternoon, the stock was the leading percentage decliner within the Dow Jones Industrial Average as the bluechip index fell more than 1% and dipped below 9,900. The Dow

roared back

late in the day, however, and finished up roughly 10 points.

GE shares finished down 1.6% at $15.79 on volume of 134.1 million, besting the issue's trailing three-month daily average of 73.7 million. The current weighting of GE in the Dow is roughly 1.2%, according to

Dow Jones


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At their low for the session, GE shares were off a tick below 5% to $15.25. At that level nearly all of the stock's gains for year-to-date 2010, roughly 10% based on Wednesday's close at $16.68, were wiped out. On Thursday,

GE fell nearly 4%

as stocks were weak in general, and a hearing was held on Capitol Hill to discuss the potential competitive implications of the company's plans to sell a majority stake in its NBC Universal unit to


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. A finish in the red would mark the stock's third consecutive down day.

Exposure across so many sectors and industries can cut both ways at times. Some measure of the popularity that General Electric has enjoyed as a stock in the past among retail and institutional investors is attributable to its diversity of products and services, but it can also see sharp selling when macro concerns about equities rule the day, as seems to be happening in Friday's session.

Wall Street sentiment on GE is evenly split for the most part. Of the 16 analysts covering the company, six are at buy, six are at hold, two rate it a strong buy, and one says sell, according to

Thomson Reuters

data. The current analysts' median price target for the stock is $19.

A GE spokesperson wasn't immediately available for comment.

Written by Michael Baron in New York