Stocks Finish With Losses

A consumer sentiment reading disappoints. Most of the Dow components are lower.
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Updated from 3:22 p.m. EDT

Stocks ended Friday's session lower as retreating oil prices ultimately failed to move the major indices higher.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 53.34 points, or 0.51%, to 10,397.29, and the

S&P 500

was down 7.27 points, or 0.6%, to 1205.10. The

Nasdaq Composite

lost 13.6 points, or 0.64%, to 2120.77. The 10-year Treasury was down 7/32 in price, yielding 4.18%, while the dollar fell against the yen and euro.

"This week showed that oil was at the top of the list for everyone," said Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading with Ryan Beck & Co. "What we've had is a sense of a negative backdrop for the marketplace, which we haven't had in a while. We're starting to wonder again about whether the

Fed

will raise rates or not. People are defensive, making it difficult for us to move higher unless we get good economic data or a break in oil next week."

About 1.18 billion shares changed hands on the

New York Stock Exchange

, with decliners outpacing advancers by an 11-to-5 margin. Trading volume on the Nasdaq was 1.28 billion shares, with decliners beating advancers 2 to 1.

The Dow finished with 22 of its 30 components in the red Friday, with

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

,

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

,

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

and

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

leading the way lower.

For the week, the Dow lost 1.53%, the S&P 500 was down 1.19%, while the Nasdaq fell 0.69%. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 posted their second straight weekly declines, and the Nasdaq's losing streak hit four weeks.

Crude for October delivery, which at one point almost topped the $68 level, fell $1.36 to close at $66.13 a barrel in Nymex floor trading. Oil had closed at a record high of $67.49 on Thursday, even as weather reports suggested the storm that is now Hurricane Katrina would move north and avoid the drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The major indices spent all of Friday's session in the red after the University of Michigan said its final August reading for its consumer sentiment index was 89.1. Economists expected the index to fall to 92.8 from July's final reading of 96.5.

"The University of Michigan survey

was the cause of our early erosion," says Peter Cardillo, chief market analyst with SW Bach & Co. "The real negative part was that the expectation index came in much lower than expected. The potential of consumer confidence waning even further is frightening. It's another summer Friday."

Also,

Federal Reserve

Chairman Alan Greenspan spoke at an economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., stating that "the performance of the U.S. economy in recent years, despite shocks that in the past would have surely produced marked economic contraction, offers the clearest evidence that we have benefited from an enhanced resilience and flexibility.

"Most recently, the flexibility of our market-driven economy has allowed us, thus far, to weather reasonably well the steep rise in spot and futures prices for crude oil and natural gas that we have experienced over the past two years."

"All the economic data for this past week were below expectations," noted Robert Pavlik, chief investment officer with Oaktree Asset Management. "While they aren't the top-rated heavy hitters, the market still takes direction from them. Again, it's still low volume to finish the week. It may not be the real picture of the market so you have to take it with a grain of salt."

Most sectors were weaker Friday, led lower by energy, health care, technology, drugmakers, semiconductors and transportation.

Among the corporate news making headlines,

The Wall Street Journal

indicated that

Pixar

(PIXR)

is facing an informal

Securities and Exchange Commission

probe in the wake of the company's problems associated with the DVD release of its movie

The Incredibles

. Pixar slid $1.01, or 2.4%, to $41.99.

United Airlines' parent

UAL

(UALAQ)

said it has secured commitments from banks for up to $3 billion in financing that should allow it to exit bankruptcy protection late this year or early next year. UAL added 9 cents, or 6.8%, to $1.41.

Separately,

Northwest

(NWAC)

said its operations are rebounding after a strike by its mechanics. The airline said it might consider giving replacement workers permanent jobs, according to reports. Northwest rose 7 cents, or 1.4%, at $5.27.

Reports also suggest that

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

might ease off its earlier promise to defend every Vioxx case in court and could consider settling some cases if the plaintiffs meet certain criteria. Last week, the company lost a $253.4 million verdict in Texas to a woman who said her husband died while taking the drug giant's painkiller. Merck fell 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $27.66.

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

has received authorization to buy back an additional $4 billion worth of common shares. The computer maker said the buyback will offset dilution from the issuance of employee stock options. H-P gained 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $27.01.

Shares of

Renovis

(RNVS)

were finished lower after the biotech company released disappointing midstage trial results for a back-pain drug. The stock was down 14 cents, or 1.1%, to close at $12.56.

Among earnings,

OmniVision Technologies

(OVTI)

posted fiscal first-quarter earnings late Thursday of $14.4 million, or 24 cents a share, down from $19.9 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue dipped to $96 million from $98.8 million a year ago.

Analysts expected EPS of 26 cents on revenue of $95 million, according to Thomson First Call. The company also offered second-quarter guidance mostly in line with analysts' expectations. OmniVision gained $1.27, or 9.5%, to $14.65.

Chico's

(CHS) - Get Report

earned $49 million, or 27 cents a share, in its latest quarter, up from $35 million, or 20 cents a share, last year. The results matched consensus estimates. Sales jumped 35% to $343 million. Same-store sales rose 15.6%.

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Despite the positive sales trends, management told analysts during its conference call that increased promotional activities in linens and sweaters could hurt gross margins in coming quarters. The company didn't provide specific earnings guidance. Chico's fell $3.09, or 8.3%, to $33.98.

Overseas, stocks were mixed. London's FTSE was down 0.4% at 5233, and Germany's Xetra DAX was down 1.3% to 4791. Japan's Nikkei added 0.3% to 12,439, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6% to 14,983.

To view Gregg Greenberg's video take on today's market, click here

.