NEW YORK, NOV. 13 -- The stock market finished the fourth week since the collapse by heading lower today, despite positive news about inflation and consumer spending that suggested the economy remains resilient.
A rise in the dollar's value also stalled, and traders said it would take an announcement of significant cuts in the federal budget deficit to revitalize the financial markets. Talks between White House and congressional negotiators adjourned today with no clear indication that a compromise was close.
"I think people are a little exhausted after these weeks," said Hank Striefler, senior vice president at Shearson Lehman Bros. Inc. in New York. "I think everybody is just sitting back, waiting to see what's coming out of Washington over the weekend. Somebody said it's the Friday-the-13th effect."
The Dow Jones industrial average, which jumped 61.01 points Thursday after the government announced a drop in the September trade deficit, closed 25.20 points lower at 1935.01 yesterday, giving it a loss for the week of 24.04 points.
Broader stock measures also fell, and losing issues outnumbered gainers 7 to 5 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume on the Big Board totaled 174.92 million shares, considered moderate compared with the frenzied levels reached in the days after the Oct. 19 collapse.
The value of U.S. stocks fell $20.9 billion yesterday, according to the Wilshire Associates 5,000 Equity Index.
On the currency markets, the dollar broke above the 136-yen level for the first time this week in Tokyo, but retreated in Europe and the United States to about 135.83 yen. The dollar also fell against the West German mark.
The preoccupation with the deficit talks blocked whatever positive effect the markets may have derived from two U.S. government reports today that suggested the American economy could weather the fallout from the stock crash.
The Labor Department said producer prices, an important measure of inflation, fell 0.2 percent last month, dampening fears that the eroded value of the dollar has significantly raised prices.
The Commerce Department said October retail sales dropped a lower-than-expected 0.1 percent, mostly from a decline in auto sales. That indicated consumers were not discouraged from spending after the stock collapse, analysts said.