Stocks Retreat At The Open As Investors Fret About Rate-hike Prospects

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks slumped at the open Friday as investors wrestled with the possibility that the Federal Reserve could move to raise interest rates soon. The three main benchmarks were on track to log modest weekly losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64 points, or 0.4%, to 18,533, while the S&P 500 index , declined 7 points, or 0.3%, at 2,179. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 15 points, or 0.3%, to 5,224. Despite Friday's decline, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite were all on track to post a weekly fall of at least 0.3%. Elsewhere, Applied Materials Inc. shares were trading higher after the semiconductor maker late Thursday reported that orders hit a record, while shares of Gap Inc. slipped after the clothing retailer reported a drop in second-quarter sales.

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