NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of engineering, construction and industrial services companies fell Thursday in the face of what one analyst called a "brutal economic slog."

Citi Investment Research analyst Jeffrey T. Sprague, writing in a client note, said the question of whether the downdraft is easing is an open issue.

"Economy is brutal (and the) jury is still out on whether it has really stabilized based on conflicting company comments," he said.

"Europe is a source of lagging risk; China stimulus has been effective so far, but more may be needed; price pressures are mounting, despite company efforts to be disciplined (and) lower costs may create near-term net positives, but it's unclear if it is sustainable."

In afternoon trading, Roper Industries Inc. fell $1.51, or 3.4 percent, Emcor Group Inc. declined 77 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $21.28 and Cooper Industries Ltd. dropped $1.75, or 5.2 percent, to $31.77.

Also, Tyco International Ltd. lost 91 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $25.80 and Eaton Corp. retreated $2.17, or 4.7 percent, to $44.16.

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