US stock market remains lower at midday on so-so economic data and weaker airline stocks

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U.S. stocks are falling at midday as lacklustre news about the economy and declines in airline stocks weigh on the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 62 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 16,780 as of 12:07 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was off seven points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1,936. The Nasdaq slipped 12 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4,319.

Consumer spending rose 0.3 per cent last month, the government said, just shy of the 0.4 per cent increase that economists expected.

Energy stocks rose broadly on fears that insurgent victories in Iraq could disrupt global oil supplies.

Higher crude prices helped push down airline stocks. Delta Air Lines fell $2.05, or 5 per cent, to $38.66. Southwest Airlines dropped $1.21, or 4.5 per cent, to $25.73.

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