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Market Update

Week in Review: Poor Economy Haunts Stocks

High unemployment, more anthrax deaths drag on indexes.

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The market was handed a lot of bad economic and political news this week, and the dour reports dragged the major indexes into the red. Workers are lining up for unemployment checks in numbers not seen in nearly 20 years, and consumer spending has dropped off since the September 11 terrorist attacks. On the political front, more anthrax infections--this time among people without ties to the government, media or mail industry--left officials guessing, and Congress spent much of the week debating an airline-safety bill.

Given that glum news, it's no wonder the market latched on to some encouraging developments from Microsoft (MSFT) on Thursday. The software giant and the U.S. government reached a deal in the government's antitrust suit that would leave Microsoft's business largely intact. Microsoft shares rallied 4.5% on Thursday, pulling the rest of the market with it. 

Laura Pavlenko Lutton does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.