March 1, 2013

Stock indexes opened lower on Wall Street on Friday, as lackluster domestic and global data indicated an economic recovery that continues to struggle.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost 0.8 percent in early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq composite index fell 0.9 percent. European stocks were down by about 1 percent in afternoon trading, while Asian stocks ended mixed.

Investors were looking ahead to budget cuts in Washington that were widely expected to take effect at the end of the day, barring an unlikely last-minute deal. The International Monetary Fund has said that if the cuts take effect, it would re-evaluate growth forecasts for the United States and the global economy.

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