Stocks ended lower Friday, wrapping up a week of losses as investors reacted to a ballooning U.S. trade deficit and a falling dollar.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fill 77.15 points, or 0.7 percent, to end at 10,774.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 9.17 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,200.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 18.12 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,041.60, its lowest close in about two weeks.
A surge in imports of consumer goods pushed the U.S. trade deficit to a wider-than-expected $58.3 billion in January, the second biggest on record, the government said on Friday. While the nation's exports rose to record highs, imports increased even faster, leading investors to fear a loss of confidence in the dollar overseas. The dollar fell against most major currencies after the news came out.
Among local movers, shares of Activision Inc. rose 1.5 percent to close at $22.98. The Santa Monica-based video game publisher announced at the 4 p.m. (Eastern) market close that it settled a dispute with Viacom Inc. over videogames based on the "Star Trek" franchise.
Activision sued Viacom in July 2003, claiming Viacom diminished the value of the "Star Trek" game license by not promoting the latest "Star Trek" series or making new "Star Trek" movies or TV shows. Viacom countered that the suit was just a ploy to renegotiate the license. Activision's share price and volume spiked 15 minutes before the news was announced.
IMPCO Technologies Inc. gained 1 percent to $6.20 after the Cerritos-based fuel systems company said that its shareholders had approved the acquisition of the remaining 50 percent interest in Italian company BRC from its founders. IMPCO had previously completed the purchase of the first 50 percent interest in July 2003. The transaction is expected to close later this month.
And Computer Sciences Corp. announced Friday that it has signed contract with French car manufacturer Renault to provide information technology infrastructure services for its Web sites in France and Spain. The contract is valued at $236 million over 5 years. The El Segundo-based company's shares rose 0.3 percent to close at $45.53.
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