Stocks Weaker

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Stock prices are lower in early trading. The Nasdaq Composite Index is off 23 points and the Standard-and-Poor's 500 Stock Index is down ten and a-half points.

Stocks are headed lower as concern about the outlook for financial firms takes center stage once again.

JPMorgan downgraded major securities firms on Wall Street amid a
decline in the debt markets and a slowdown in growth of revenue.
The downgrade involves names like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley,
Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.

Declines seen this week so far follow a strong showing last week
by the major indexes. Investors are still trying to determine whether stocks are poised to extend that rebound while seeking hints from Fed officials about the likelihood and size of a potential rate cut.

Crude oil has been lower in electronic trading, below $89 per barrel.