Stocks ended lower Friday after a week of gains, even as oil prices fell for a fifth straight day and two big cable operators reportedly agreed to bid for bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp.


Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.98, or 0.8 percent, to close at 10,461.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 9.94, or 0.8 percent, at 1,181.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 19.44, or 1 percent, to 1,999.35.


Crude oil futures dropped Friday, although investors seemed skeptical that oil futures may, at least in the short term, have hit a ceiling. A barrel of light crude settled at $53.32, down 79 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Meanwhile, Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. were said to have reached a tentative agreement to buy cable TV company Adelphia Communications Corp., according to several news reports. The two companies agreed in principle to buy bankrupt Adelphia for $18 billion in a mostly cash deal that could make it one of the most dominant systems in the Los Angeles market.


Among local companies, shares of IRIS International Inc. gained 7.2 percent to close at $13 after the Chatsworth-based urinalysis technology firm announced that it had received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its Body Fluids Module, a new product that expands their business into the analysis of spinal and other bodily fluids.


Entravision Communications Corp. rose 0.5 percent to $8.91 after the Santa Monica-based Spanish-language media company's stock was reinstated "underperform" by analyst Philip Remek at Guzman & Company. The price target was set at $9 per share.


On the down side, shares of Earl Scheib, Inc. fell 33.3 percent to $2.20 when the Sherman Oaks-based auto body shops operator withdrew its capital stock from trading on the American Stock Exchange after market close on Thursday. The change became effective at the opening of business on Friday. The company filed a notice on Form 15 with the SEC to terminate registration of its capital stock and suspend the filing of current and periodic reports. April 6 was the last day the stock was traded on the AMEX.


And IHOP Corp. fell 2.5 percent to $48.66 after the Glendale-based International House of Pancakes restaurants operator announced that its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per common share payable May 23 to shareholders of record as of May 2.

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