Stocks Pull Back as Consumer Mood Sours

Stocks opened lower Friday after reports showed consumer sentiment and spending have declined.

This came after stocks logged their best day since July on Thursday, with the Dow jumping 2 percent.

The sectors that have led the recent rally pulled back today: Financials fell 2 percent. Materials and energy dropped more than 1.5 percent.

Reuters and the University of Michigan reported their gauge of consumer sentiment slipped to 70.6in a final October reading from 73.5 in September.

And the government said consumer spending fell 0.5 percentlast month while income was flat. Separate reports showed employment costs rose and New York City's economic activity continuing to pick up.

Investors shrugged off an encouraging regional report: Business activity in the Midwest expanded in October to the highest level in more than a year, according to the Chicago purchasing managers' index

On the earnings front, Chevron reported its profit slumped 51 percent but beat expectations as the company pumped more oil out of the ground and prices began to recover.

This came a day after rival ExxonMobilmissed analysts' earnings target.

Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report
Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report

Bankruptcy looms for commercial lender CIT Group as the company reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs to amend a $3 billion loan as part of a plan to restructure debt.

AIG said on Friday it would not sell its two Japanese insurers.

Intel shares rose and there's been heavy options actionon the stock amid optimism about the chip maker's forecast.

A few more techs delivered upbeat outlooks, including Sony, Panasonic and Samsung.

Sony posted a fourth-quarter loss but cut its full-year loss forecast closer to market expectations, while rival Panasonic showed its first profit in three quarters while raising its forecast.

Las Vegas Sands shares surged after the gambling resort company gained approval for an initial public offering in Hong Kong.

On the political front, the White House will brief media on the status of stimulus spending and jobs, covered by the Recovery Act.

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