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Stocks fall as consumer spending fails to impress

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are opening lower, with investors underwhelmed by news of higher consumer spending.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 76 points to 13,031. The Standard & Poor's 500 is down nine to 1,402. The Nasdaq is down 19 to 3,062.

The government says that consumer spending rose in July after holding steady in June and falling in May. Separately, retailers like Target and Costco are reporting that they beat analysts' predictions for August sales.

Investors could be worried that gas prices, which hit a national average of $3.80 per gallon this week, will force customers to cut back on shopping.

The government also says that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was unchanged last week. But the four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, increased.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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