June 8, 2012 / 1:56 PM / 7 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St lower on caution over Spain's banks

* Spain likely to request EU aid over the weekend -sources

* McDonald’s sales miss forecast, warns on economy

* German imports tumble in April

* Chesapeake Energy plans to sell pipeline assets

* Indexes down: S&P 0.4 pct, Dow 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday as investors erred on the side of caution ahead of a weekend expected to bring new developments in Spain’s banking crisis.

Spain is expected to request European Union aid for its ailing banks over the weekend to forestall worsening market turmoil, EU and German sources said.

In a sign of how Europe’s crisis and a slowing global economy are affecting U.S. corporations, McDonald’s Corp reported a lower-than-expected rise in global same-store sales in May and warned austerity measures in Europe were taking a toll. Shares fell 2.6 percent to $86.08.

“The European banking system is under capitalized, and the markets are waxing and waning based on enthusiasm for a plan to recapitalize them,” said Jack de Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“This weekend we may get some news on recapitalizing Spanish banks, and I think there is a fair amount of fear of being invested in risk assets over the weekend, because if that doesn’t happen, we could easily lose that 200-plus (Dow index) points that we gained.”

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 49.65 points, or 0.40 percent, to 12,411.31. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 5.54 points, or 0.42 percent, to 1,309.45. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12.02 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,819.00.

Still, the S&P 500 was on course for its best week since March after a substantial rally in the middle of the week. That came shortly after the index fell below it 200-day moving average, in what some analysts said was an oversold bounce. The strong week also comes after the worst month since September.

“The rally we had, which was pretty strong, was a bit more of a technical than a fundamental bounce, and the market is struggling to find the good news to keep it going,” said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.

At 10:15 a.m., President Barack Obama will make a statement on the U.S. economy, the White House said.

German imports tumbled at their fastest rate in two years in April, and exports fell more than expected, another sign Europe’s largest economy is beginning to feel the chill from the euro-zone debt crisis.

European shares as measured by the FTSEurofirst 300 dropped 0.8 percent, while the euro fell against the dollar and oil retreated. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 2.1 percent and narrowly missed posting its worst losing streak since 1975.

Chesapeake Energy Corp plans to sell its pipeline and related assets to Global Infrastructure Partners in three separate transactions worth more than $4 billion, as the company scrambles to plug an estimated $10 billion funding shortfall. Chesapeake shares fell 0.4 percent. [ID:nL4E8H88RP}

Best Buy Co Inc founder and chairman, Richard Schulze, resigned from the retailer’s board on Thursday and said he was exploring options for his 20.1 percent ownership stake, a move seen as a possible precursor of a Schulze-led private takeover. The shares rose 1.4 percent.

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