US stocks slide after 5 days of gains as oil falls

Maof: Closed Dow Jones: down 0.2%, to 9,605.41 FTSE: up 0.5% to 5,011.07 Nikkei: down 0.7% to 10,444.33

SHARES WALL STREET Investors pulled money out of stocks Friday after a five-day rally left the market at its highest levels in nearly a year. Stocks slipped in quiet trading after the recent string of gains and a drop in oil prices. Crude slid 3.7 percent, which hurt some energy stocks like Exxon Mobil Corp. That overshadowed a rosier profit forecast from FedEx Corp. and a government report on improving sales at wholesalers. Even with the losses, stocks still logged big gains for the week. Separately, the US Commerce Department reported that sales at the wholesale level rose in July by the biggest amount in more than a year, though inventories fell for a record 11th straight month. The rise in sales could lead businesses to start adding back to inventories, which would be a good signal for the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.07, or 0.2%, to 9,605.41. The index closed Thursday at its highest level since October. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.41, or 0.1%, to 1,042.73, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 3.12, or 0.2%, to 2,080.90. The eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks brought reflection on Wall Street also served a reminder of how little progress the stock market has made since then because of the steep slide that began two years ago. On September 10, 2001, the Dow ended at 9,605.51; that is nearly identical to Friday's close of 9,605.41. For the week, the Dow rose 1.7%, the S&P 500 index added 2.6% and the Nasdaq rose 3.1%. A rush of economic data next week could help investors determine whether the expected economic rebound is on track. Reports are due on retail sales, industrial production, housing and inflation. Analysts will be paying particular attention to reports on retailers because consumer spending accounts for about 70% of US economic activity. Any rebound in the economy will have to be accompanied by a greater flow of money into cash registers. FedEx jumped $4.66, or 6.4%, to $77.32 after raising its forecast. EUROPE Germany's DAX closed up 0.5% at 5,624.02, while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 5,011.07. France's CAC-40 was up 0.8% at 3,734.89. ASIA Shanghai's index jumped 2.2% after China said industrial output, investment, loans and retail sales remained strong in August, supported by colossal stimulus measures. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4% to 21,161.42. South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.4%, and Australia's benchmark gained 0.6%. Japan's market, however, bucked the upward trend as the dollar continued to lose ground against the yen, feeding worries the country's major exporters might take a hit when converting their overseas revenues and profits. New figures indicating the economy grew at a weaker pace than initially estimated in the second quarter didn't help matters. The Nikkei 225 stock average lost 0.7% to 10,444.33. CURRENCIES On Friday morning, the euro rose to $1.4600 from $1.4585 late Thursday, after earlier hitting a new 2009 high of $1.4634. The pound, meanwhile, rose to $1.6699 from $1.6665, while the dollar fell to 90.32 Japanese yen from 91.74 yen, its lowest point since February. The dollar index fell to a 12-month low against a basket of major currencies, as it did every day last week in American trading. It fell as low as 76.5 against six major world currencies that includes the euro, yen, Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish krona and Swiss franc. That's its lowest level since last September. In other trading, the dollar fell to 1.0361 Swiss francs from 1.0387 francs, and dropped to 1.0724 Canadian dollars from 1.0790 late Thursday. COMMODITIES Gold for December delivery rose $9.60 to settle $1,006.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest close for gold since February 20. On August 27, gold finished below the $950 mark. December silver rose 3 cents to $16.70 an ounce. Copper and aluminum lost ground. In other trading, light, sweet crude for October delivery tumbled $2.65 to $69.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Grain prices posted a mixed finish on the Chicago Board of Trade. December wheat futures rose 8.50 cents to $4.6725 a bushel. Corn for December delivery advanced 4.50 cents to $3.1975 a bushel while November soybeans fell 23.5 cents to $9.03 a bushel.