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One of the lone bright spots among earnings reports was Google Inc.'s ability to beat analysts' estimates as it reported quarterly earnings after the market closed Thursday. Excluding special one-time charges, Google earned about $5.10 per share, compared with analysts' expectations for profit of $4.95 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Elsewhere in corporate news, The Wall Street Journal is reporting drug maker Pfizer Inc. is in talks to acquire rival Wyeth in a deal valued at more than $60 billion. Citing unidentified sources, the Journal said the discussions have been going on for months, but a deal is not imminent.
Meanwhile, oil prices fell 81 cents to $42.86 a barrel in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 2.55 percent from 2.60 percent late Thursday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, rose to 0.10 percent from 0.09 percent late Thursday.
The dollar mostly rose against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 3.8 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain's FTSE 100 declined 1 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 2.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 declined 2 percent.
On the Net:
New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com/
Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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