Stocks Sag on Fed Fears

Stocks pulled back Friday after a stronger than expected consumer inflation report raised fears that the Federal Reserve won’t be able to cut interest rates to stem the meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage market.

Following a stronger than expected wholesale inflation reading on Thursday, the report virtually assured that the Fed will have to stand pat on interest rates when it meets next week.

Still, despite two days of disappointing economic reports, the major indexes were down less than half a percent Friday.

HP edged higher after upping its stock buyback plan by $8 billion.

Actions Semi , OpenTV and Tektronix fell on their results.

Veeco lost 3% on a Thomas Weisel downgrade.

Atmel fell 5% on a battle for control of the company.

The Nasdaq lost 6 to 2372, the S&P 500 fell 5 to 1387, and the Dow lost 49 to 12,110. Volume rose to 3.34 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.13 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led by a 20-12 margin on the NYSE, and 17-11 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 68% on the NYSE, and 57% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 86-31 on the NYSE, and 62-82 on the Nasdaq.

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