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Stocks edge lower as some earnings disappoint; oil rises

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07/28/2017 | 11:10 pm
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets fell worldwide on Friday as results from some big U.S. companies disappointed and tobacco shares dropped, while oil prices had their biggest weekly percentage rise this year.

Altria Group (>> Altria Group) fell 9.5 percent and was the biggest drag on the S&P 500, while U.S.-listed shares of British American Tobacco (>> British American Tobacco) <BTI.N> dropped 7 percent, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it aims to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes while exploring measures to shift smokers towards e-cigarettes.

"It's going to take some time to play out, but those names all moved" on the news, said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Amazon's (>> Amazon.com) stock fell after the world's largest online retailer reported late Thursday a jump in retail sales along with a profit slump. Results from Exxon Mobil (>> Exxon Mobil Corporation) and Starbucks (>> Starbucks Corporation) also disappointed.

Despite Friday's share reactions, second-quarter results have come in mostly better than expected, and stocks are trading near record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 33.76 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 21,830.31, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 3.32 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,472.1 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 7.51 points, or 0.12 percent, to 6,374.68.

MSCI's 47-country All World share index <.MIWD00000PUS> was down 0.2 percent, while the European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> was down 1 percent.

Oil prices rose, extending this week's strong rally built on news that key OPEC members pledged to reduce exports and bigger-than-expected U.S. inventory drawdowns.

Brent crude futures <LCOc1> rose $1.03 to settle at $52.52 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures <CLc1> rose 67 cents to settle at $49.71.

For the week, U.S. crude rose nearly 9 percent, its biggest weekly gain this year. The gains in Brent pushed the difference between the two benchmarks to the widest in two months.

"The bullish inventory report this week has helped confirm the declining trajectory of global inventories," said Sarp Ozkan, analyst at Drillinginfo.com. That, along with Saudi Arabia reducing exports, has "buoyed the expectations of continued inventory normalization."

The U.S. dollar was broadly lower as a combination of uninspiring U.S. economic data and political uncertainty kept traders biased toward the euro and other world currencies.

U.S. gross domestic product growth picked up to 2.6 percent in the second quarter, matching expectations of economists polled by Reuters.

In Washington, U.S. Senate Republicans failed early on Friday to overturn the healthcare law known as Obamacare, in a stinging blow to President Donald Trump.

The euro moved higher against the dollar <EUR=>, and was last up 0.7 percent at $1.1751. The Swiss franc <CHF=> fell for a fourth straight day and was set for its largest monthly drop in six years against the euro <EURCHF=>.

U.S. Treasury yields fell. Other data showed that U.S. labor costs increased less than expected in the second quarter. The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs, increased 0.5. percent in the April-June period.

Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.29 percent, down from 2.31 percent on Thursday.

(Additional reporting by David Gaffen in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Reuters 2017
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