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Market Wrap: Stocks Slip Mostly On Weak Economic Report

Thursday, 21 Dec 2006 | 4:53 PM ET

Sellers outnumbered buyers on Wall Street after multiple reports signaled a slowdown in economic growth. CNBC's "Closing Bell" team sorted through the details.

Stocks sold off following the worst showing for the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Manufacturing Index since April 2003.

This came after the nation's Gross Domestic Product was revised to 2%- in the third quarter - down from 2.2%

Throw on top of that comments from hawkish Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker who said high inflation remains the biggest risk to the economy and you've got the makings of a down day for the markets: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day off 40 points. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 were off 12 and 6, respectively.

Cyclical stocks took the brunt of the fall from the manufacturing report: Phelps Dodge , DuPont and Alcoa were among the large-caps that ended the day lower.

There wasn’t much better news for investors on the energy front: natural gas inventories dropped (but not enough to offset the 3 trillion cubic feet in storage) and prices fell on the news. Crude oil prices also fell below $63 per barrel. Oil has continued its slide from a three-month high on sustained mild weather and higher inventories.

Some stocks were immune to today’s sell-off – among them: Boston Scientific , which inked an exclusive 2-year deal to become the exclusive supplier of heart stents to the Cleveland Clinic (this sent shares of rival Johnson & Johnson lower).

Other advancers included ConAgra Foods and General Mills – both on news of higher profits. Shares of AT&T and BellSouth also rose on speculation that the long-delayed merger of the 2 telecom heavyweights could be imminent.

  Price   Change %Change
AA
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BSX
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CAG
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DD
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GILD
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JNJ
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PD
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T
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  • With almost 30 years experience in business television, Bill Griffeth is co-anchor of the 3 p.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

  • Kelly Evans

    Kelly Evans is an on-air correspondent, reporting across CNBC's business day programming. She is co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."