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Published: Monday, 7/16/2012

Report of a third straight month of weak consumer spending sends stocks lower on Wall Street


NEW YORK — Stocks closed lower for the seventh day out of the last eight after the government reported that U.S. consumers cut their spending last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 12,727 today.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.5 percent in June from the month before. It was the third straight month of declining sales.

Also dampening spirits, the International Monetary Fund now forecasts the global economy to grow 3.9 percent in 2013, down from an earlier estimate of 4.1 percent.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to 1,354 and the Nasdaq composite index fell nearly 12 points to 2,897.

Declining stocks narrowly outpaced rising ones. Volume was light at 2.8 billion shares.

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