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Stocks Post Biggest Weekly Decline in 2012
CNBC.com | April 06, 2012 | 08:50 AM EDT

For the week, the Dow tumbled 1.15 percent, the S&P fell 0.74 percent, and the Nasdaq slid 0.36 percent. Cisco was the biggest weekly laggard on the Dow, while Merck edged higher.

Most key S&P sectors ended lower for the week, led by energy, while techs squeezed out a small gain.

Markets were pressured for most of the week after minutes from the Fed's latest meeting indicated that policymakers toned down the likelihoodfor further quantitative easing.

“The Fed is being as accommodative as they can and unless the economy pulls back, I don’t see them doing anything more,” said John Fox, co-manager of the FAM Value Fund. “But we’ve been on the right path—the last two pieces to the recovery puzzle are jobs and housing and both are showing signs of improvement.”

Fox added that fundamentals "still remain good" and expects corporate earnings to "continue to grow" this year.

Weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 in the last week, to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, according to the Labor Department. And the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell to its lowest level in 10 months.

Adding to market jitters throughout the week, new signs emerged in the euro zone that the debt-ridden region may see another recession. Sentiment was further dampened by Spain and France's poor bond auctions.

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