The EconomyPrices at the consumer level slipped 0.1% in June, the Department of Labor said Friday, supporting the view that inflationary pressures will remain muted for some time. The level was in line with economists' expectations. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core rate grew 0.2%, which was slightly stronger than the 0.1% uptick that Wall Street had projected. After the opening bell, the University of Michigan said consumer sentiment took a big step back in July, which only helped accelerate stock losses. The consumer gauge read 66.5. Wall Street was anticipating a reading of 74.5, representing a decline from June's level of 76.
Company NewsThe bank earnings results weighed broadly on financial segment stocks, which was the sector under the most pressure during Friday's session alongside industrials. Shares of Bank of America led all laggards on the average, losing over 9%. Cisco Systems ( CSCO), American Express ( AXP) and GE also lost significant ground on the Dow. Though all 30 components finished in the red, Verizon ( VZ), Coca-Cola ( KO) and Procter & Gamble ( KO) saw far more limited losses on the blue-chip average. The KBW Bank Index slumped 5.7% today.
Commodities and the DollarCrude oil for August delivery settled 61 cents lower to finish at $76.01 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodity markets, the August gold contract traded $20.10 lower to settle at $1,188.20 an ounce. The dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by over 0.2%.