Updated from 3:29 p.m. EST

Better Luck Next Week

(At 7:20 p.m. EST)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average did manage to end the week with a slight gain Friday, but on the whole the past five sessions saw the index continue its downward spiral.

For the day, the Dow was up 32.50 points, or 0.5%, to 6626.94. Led by General Electric ( GE), 16 of the 30 stocks rose. Among the losers, GM ( GM) was the weakest, down 22%.

All told, the week was, unfortunately, a bad one. The Dow lost 435.99 points, or 6.2%. That's the fourth straight weekly decline and the 15th of the last 18. So far in 2009, the industrials have lost 24.5%.

Once again, it's good to see the weekend get here.

Here We Go Again After All

(At 2:46 p.m. EST)

The Dow was basically at its session low in the last hour of trading, slumping 117 points to 6477. Look at a basic chart and you'll see steady deterioration since the post-open spike began to fade.

Just seven of the 30 components were holding on to gains. General Electric ( GE) remained the top stock, though it's seen the amount of its increase cut to 3%, putting the stock at $6.86.

Coca-Cola ( KO) was faring all right, adding 1.8%, and Kraft ( KFT) and McDonald's ( MCD) were each up about 1%.

On the downside, GM ( GM) continued to get taken apart. Lately, it was falling 21.3% to $1.46. All of the financials are lower, with JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) the worst, losing more than 7%. Bank of America ( BAC) was down nearly 4% and American Express ( AXP) 5.3%.

So barring a last-minute rally, we have an ugly end to another ugly week.

How bad can it get? Over on our subscription site RealMoney, Jim Cramer says that if the negatives keep coming, and understand this is worst-case scenario, the Dow might be looking at 5320. Check out the article.

Could Be Worse

(At 11:45 a.m. EST)

To no one's surprise, the latest jobs data was horrible, and in the first minutes of trading the Dow ignored it and went higher. The advance didn't last long though. Recently, the index was off 25 points at 6569.

At least we're not getting unnecessarily crushed. True, the industrials are lower, but they had been a bit worse, trading down to 6543. At this point, where the Dow will close is anybody's guess, but for now there doesn't seem to be a great deal of commitment from either side.

Considering the measure has lost 468 points, or 6.6%, through the first four sessions this week, maybe we should be happy if we get a flat day.

Of the 30 stocks, 19 were trading down and 10 were higher, while Citigroup ( C) was unchanged. General Electric ( GE) was the best stock, up 3.2% at $6.87. Chevron ( CVX) followed with a 2.7% gain.

By far the biggest decliner was GM ( GM), which slumped 29% to $1.32 on continuing concerns about its ability to remain a solvent enterprise. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was next in line with a 5.4% decline at $15.70.

We'll see if we can get out of here without too much more damage.

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