Stocks little changed in early trading - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stocks little changed in early trading

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock prices are little changed in early trading after yesterday's big declines.

  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 5 points in today's early going.

  The Nasdaq Composite Index is off 7 points and the Standard-and-Poor's 500 Stock Index is down less than 2 points.

  Between sales declines reported by retail chains and the high level of jobless claims, investors were given fresh reminders this morning about economic weakness. An exception was Wal-Mart.

  It posted a 2.4 percent gain in same-store sales, beating Wall Street expecations.

  Caution also abounds ahead of tomorrow's monthly report on unemployment.

  One positive worth noting was news of interest rate cuts by central banks in Europe.

  The Bank of England slashed its key rate by 1.5 percentage points, while the European Central Bank cut its key rate by a half-point.

  A warning late yesterday from Cisco Systems added to investor jitters.

  The world's largest maker of computer networking gear revealed that orders fell off sharply last month.

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