Stocks Down on Early Trading

Stocks are falling in the early moments of trading as the market extends its slide into a third day on fresh concerns about potential new banking and trading regulations.

Upbeat earnings from General Electric and McDonald’s on Friday failed to dispel the new worries.

President Barack Obama spooked the market Thursday after asking Congress for limits on how large big banks can be and to end some of the risky trading large financial companies have used in recent quarters to boost profits.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 59.70, or 0.6 percent, at 10,330.18. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 5.61, or 0.5 percent, at 1,110.87, while the Nasdaq composite index is down 11.51, or 0.5 percent, at 2,254.19.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures have eased off their lows, but are still pointing to a modest decline at the open Friday, as investors try to rebound from the worst two-day stretch the market has seen since June.

Upbeat earnings from General Electric and McDonald’s weren’t able to fully offset the market’s concerns.

President Barack Obama spooked the market Thursday after asking Congress for limits on how large big banks can be and to end some of the risky trading large financial companies have used in recent quarters to boost profits.

The market could be re-entering a period of uncertainty that defined the financial crisis and sent it cratering nearly a year ago before its 10-month rally.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 35, or 0.3 percent, to 10,303. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures declined 2.90, or 0.3 percent, to 1,108.20, while Nasdaq 100 index futures rose 4.75, or 0.3 percent, to 1,845.75.

The Dow is trying to bounce back after losing 213 points Thursday and 336 points, or 3.1 percent, during the past two trading sessions. The losses have erased all the early gains seen in 2010.

Overseas, Asian markets overnight followed the U.S. sharply lower. European markets are also falling.

General Electric Co. reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analyst expectations. The conglomerate also said it is seeing an increase in orders and a growing backlog for products and services, sure signs that the economy is starting to improve.{loadposition in-article}

Fast-food chain McDonald’s Corp. fourth-quarter sales and profit grew as its cheap fare drew in more customers looking for a deal.

In recent months, Dow Jones industrial average futures would almost certainly be higher after two components of the index reported positive quarterly results. The market’s 10-month rally have been fueled by growing signs of economic improvement such as better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Internet giant Google Inc. also provided an upbeat sign for the economy, posting robust fourth-quarter earnings that easily topped analyst estimates. The results were driven by a pickup in Internet advertising, which could be a sign companies are feeling more confident the economy will recovery and opting to spend more to draw in customers.

However, Google shares fell in pre-opening trading as its revenue growth only matched expectations and, unlike its profit, didn’t exceed forecasts.

Credit card lender American Express Co. also beat expectations after it set aside less money for defaulting loans. Default and delinquency rates both fell from the previous quarter, another encouraging sign for the economy.

High loan losses have plagued the financial sector and any declines in defaults would be a welcome sign that the consumer is starting to recover.

Large financial firms, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. all plummeted Thursday. The three big banks, which have prominent consumer and investment banking operations, would likely be the hardest hit by Obama’s new regulations. Shares of each all declined more than 5 percent.

Meanwhile, bond prices dipped Friday morning. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.62 percent from 3.59 percent late Thursday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices declined.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 2.6 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 1 percent, Germany’s DAX index fell 1.1 percent, and France’s CAC-40 dropped 1.1 percent.

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