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Saturday Business Brief

April 7, 2012, 11:45 AM

Saturday Business Brief

Stocks lost ground during a holiday-shortened trading week. The Dow was down 152 points, or 1.1 percent. The S&P fell 0.7 percent, while the Nasdaq shed 0.4 percent.

  • Earnings reports begin to be the focus for Wall Street in the week ahead. The first of Dow components to report, Alcoa, weighs in with its quarterly report on Tuesday. Overall, analysts expect first quarter earnings for the group of S&P 500 companies to be down 0.1 percent compared to a year ago.
  • Economists were disappointed by Friday's jobs report from the Labor Department. The government says the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, down from a pace of more than 200,000 in each of the previous three months.
  • Ford is recalling more than 140,000 Focus compact cars because the passenger side windshield wiper can fail. Federal Safety regulators say a seal in the wiper motor wiring may be missing. Water can get inside and cause the wiper to stop working, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Union contracts for 40,000 AT&T workers expire at midnight tonight, leaving them free to call a strike to pressure the company at the negotiating table. The workers are on the shrinking local-phone and long-haul data side of the business, and located mainly in the Midwest and California.

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