Stocks fall as economic malaise spreads to Japan

U.S. stocks fell Monday as evidence piled up that the global economic slowdown is dragging on Asia.

The losses broke the longest winning streak for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index since December 2010. The index had risen for six straight days.

Japan’s economy grew in the second quarter at a 1.4 percent annual rate, slower than many analysts had expected. Last week, China released dismal figures on retail sales and exports in July. Traders had hoped Beijing would roll out stimulus measures over the weekend. That did not happen.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 38.52 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,169.43. The S&P 500 declined 1.76, or 0.1 percent, to 1,404.11.

The S&P 500 and Dow have risen every week for the past five weeks. The S&P 500 last wrapped up a five-week climb in mid-March. The Dow hasn’t done so since last October.

Mondays, however, have brought mostly losses for the market in recent weeks. The Dow has fallen for 10 out of the past 11 Mondays, and the S&P 500 has finished down five of the last six.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,022.52. The index was helped by solid gains for two of its biggest components, Apple and Google.

Slower growth in Asia worries investors because Asia’s economic endurance has helped offset weakness in the U.S. and Europe in recent years.

Exports from China and Japan are declining as Europe’s economic woes hurt consumer confidence there.

Most Asian and European markets closed lower. Stocks edged higher in Spain. Many traders believe that the European Central Bank will take a more active role in fighting the region’s debt crisis by reducing borrowing costs for Spain, Italy and others.

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