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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Open Down Slightly

Wall Street opened slightly off this morning, as the companies continue to send mixed signals and the rally that began March 9 appears to be taking its foot off the gas a bit.

In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 14 points, or about even.

The broader S&P 500 is off less than half a percent, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down more than 1 percent.

Intel this morning released first-quarter earnings, which beat analysts' expectations, but it failed to provide detailed guidance for the remainder of the year, spooking traders.

Elsewhere in the economy, U.S. industrial production dropped 1.5 percent in March -- more than forecast -- as companies continued to trim inventories, the Federal Reserve reported this morning.

It marked the 14th drop in the past 15 months. Some economists believe the recession will be over when the inventory-to-sales ratio hits zero, meaning that customers are buying exactly as much as factories are producing, so supply and demand are equal.

Struggling Yahoo is set to lay off "hundreds" more employees, the Internet portal's third layoff in 14 months, the New York Times and the Associated Press are reporting.

And Mike Duke, chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores, told NBC's "Today Show" that the economy remains under a "lot of stress" and that the recession will not be "V-shaped."

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 15, 2009; 9:54 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Intel, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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