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MarketWatch MarketPulseOct 18, 2019
Dow breaks slightly lower at Friday's open as J&J's stock weighs on blue chips
US stocks on Friday headed slightly lower but benchmarks were set to post a second straight week of gains on quarterly corporate results that have thus far come in better than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average off 45 points, or 0.2%, at 26,982 was weighed by a decline in shares of Johnson & Johnson after the blue-chip component and consumer-products and drug company said it was recalling "a single lot" of Johnson's Baby Powder after tests revealed traces of chrysotile asbestos. Meanwhile, other Dow components Coca-Cola shares climbed after the beverage and snacks company matched expectations and sales rise slightly more than anticipated and American Express Co.'s shares rose slightly after it also produced better-than-expected results. The S&P 500 index was off less than 0.1% at 2,997, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.1% at 8,151. Separately, a recent report showed that China's economy grew 6% in the quarter as business activity decelerated. Friday's action comes after the U.S. Trade Representative's office confirmed late Thursday that tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods will take effect Friday. Investors will be awaiting speeches from Federal Reserve members, offering the last time for the officials to speak before a blackout period starting on Saturday. Vice Chairman Richard Clarida was slated to speak at a conference at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time in Boston. Ahead of that a number of other speakers will talk, including Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan at 10 a.m.

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