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U.S. stocks drift lower at opening after two days of massive gains

U.S. stocks drift lower at opening after two days of massive gains
The floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)

U.S. stock prices drifted lower in opening trading Friday, the first calm start this week after four days of massive swings in the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which had soared nearly 1,000 points in the last two days after being pummeled early this week, slipped 64.94 points, or 0.4%, to 16,589.83.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 and the Nasdaq composite index both edged down 0.3%.

The start of U.S. trading followed mixed results at other global financial markets.

China's Shanghai composite index had another strong day, surging 4.8% after gaining 5.3% the prior day, and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 3%.

But key indexes in Europe mostly fell, with the Stoxx Europe 50 index slipping 0.7% and Germany's DAX index losing 0.6%.

U.S. stocks, which have been enjoying a bull market for most of the last six years, plunged more than 10% over the course of six consecutive days in the face of mounting concern about China's slowing economic growth and the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

But the U.S. market snapped back Wednesday and Thursday, with buyers encouraged by a reports of steady growth in the U.S. economy.

Crude-oil prices, which had soared 10% on Thursday, were little changed in early trading Friday, with light crude for near-term delivery at about $42.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Twitter: @PeltzLATimes

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