Bears Strike Back: Dow Snaps 6-Week Win Streak

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The Dow Industrials posted their first loss in seven weeks as traders cashed in on recent profits and warily eyed a stream of data due next week.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 72.81 points, or 0.47%, to 15,425.51, the S&P 500 dipped 6.06 points, or 0.36%, to 1,691.42 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 9.01 points, or 0.25%, to 3,660.11.

For the week, the Dow slipped 232.85 points, or 1.49%, the S&P 500 fell 18.25 points, or 1.07%, and the Nasdaq was down 29.48 points, or 0.80%.

Trading was light, but choppy on Friday. The telecommunications and utility sectors were the worst performers by far, meanwhile, materials stocks bucked the downward trend and rallied. 

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"We are rather arbitrarily banging around in a range – we are down today despite some encouraging data out of China that is dominating the headlines even if it is seemingly being ignored action wise," said Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners. Block said the recent action is reminiscent of a "yoyo." 

On the economic front, the Commerce Department said U.S. wholesale inventories fell 0.2% in June, widely missing expectations of a 0.4% increase. The miss prompted numerous investment banks to pare back their forecasts for second-quarter growth. Indeed, economists at Barclays sliced their GDP estimate by 0.1 percentage point to 2.4% on the back of the data.  

There are several key economic reports due out next week, including one on retail sales, and another on consumer sentiment. Analysts have painted a cautious picture of the retail sector recently amid concerns the key back-to-school season could disappoint. 

Elsewhere, BlackBerry (BBRY) was said to be warming to the idea of going private, according to a report by Reuters, citing several people familiar with the matter. 

Pershing Square's Bill Ackman lobbed more criticism at struggling J.C. Penney (JCP), calling on the retailer to ramp up its search for a new chief executive. Perry Capital revealed a 7.26% stake in the company, and pushed for Penney to appoint Allen Questrom Chairman and Ken Hicks CEO.

Oil prices surged $2.57, or 2.5%, to $105.97 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 1.8% to $2.91 a gallon. Gold advanced $2.30, or 0.18%, to $1,312 a troy ounce. 

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.02% to 2817, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.59% to 6567 and the German DAX climbed 0.13% to 8329.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 ticked up 0.07% to 13615 and the Chinese Hang Seng advanced 0.7% to 21808.

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