Stocks little changed, keeping them on track for biggest weekly loss since April


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FILE - This Jan. 4, 2010 file photo shows an historic marker on Wall Street in New York. U.S. stocks are opening lower Friday, July 11, 2014, and are headed for their biggest weekly loss since April. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)


NEW YORK — The stock market rose slightly Friday but was still headed for its biggest weekly loss since April as investors assessed corporate news. The market ended the previous week at a record high.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,966 as of 3:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18 points, also 0.1 percent, to 16,933. The Nasdaq composite gained 15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,412.

SALES MISS: Industrial and construction supplies company Fastenal dropped $2.17, or 4.5 percent, to $45.98 after reporting sales that fell short of analyst's expectations. Its revenue climbed 12 percent to $949.9 million, missing the $951 million expected on Wall Street.

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: Tobacco company Lorillard rose $2.73, or 4.3 percent, to $65.82, after rival Reynolds American confirmed it was in talks with Lorillard and British American Tobacco, its largest shareholder, about an acquisition. Reynolds fell 74 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $61.52. Old Gold and Kent are among Lorillard's brands.

THE EARNINGS TAPE: U.S. companies are starting to report their results for the second quarter, and investors are expecting to see more growth in profits. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are forecast to rise by 6.5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.

THE QUOTE: "The market is looking for signs of strength and certainly earnings are going to figure pretty heavily," said Jim Russell, a regional investment director at US Bank.

JITTERY WEEK: The S&P 500 index is poised for its biggest weekly loss since April after closing out last week at an all-time high. The index has retreated from the record as investors worry stock prices have climbed too high. Worries about the soundness of a Portuguese bank also spooked the market.

The S&P 500 has fallen 1 percent this week, its biggest decline since the week ending April 11, when banks reported disappointing earnings.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls when prices climb, dropped to 2.51 percent from 2.54 percent late Thursday. The price of oil fell $1.94, or 1.8 percent, to $101.01.

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