Stocks close lower for fifth day straight

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market mostly recovered from an afternoon slump to end with slight losses.

In minutes from their latest meeting released Wednesday afternoon, Federal Reserve officials said they saw a variety of threats to the U.S. economy, including a slowdown in China and a looming budget crunch in Washington. The Fed also didn’t signal that new steps to stimulate the economy were on the way.

Stock investors took the news badly at first, but by the end of the day were taking it in stride. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped as many as 118 points shortly after the 2 p.m. release of the Fed’s minutes. Thanks to a recovery in the last hour it was down just 48 points at the closing bell, not much different from where it was earlier.

The Dow closed at 12,604.53, down 48.59 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.02 of a point to 1,341.45. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index lost 14.35 points to 2,887.98.

It was the fifth straight day of losses for both the Dow and S&P. That’s the worst stretch for both since a six-day losing streak that ran through May 18. With Europe still working out the details of a bailout for Spanish banks and the U.S. economy still sluggish, there’s little for investors to buy stocks.

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