Major U.S. indexes started off the day slightly lower on Friday as August retail sales disappointed while the subprime crisis extended overseas as the Bank of England rescued mortgage lender Northern Rock.
The lender received an emergency loan from Englandâ€™s central bank and issued a profit warning. Banks have been reluctant to lend as they deal with a tight credit squeeze due to due to non-payment of loans in the U.S.
Meanwhile August retail sales had their biggest drop in a year, growing at a lower-than-estimated 0.3 percent rate, pointing to a softening economy.
At 10:45 AM, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.34 points, or 0.05 percent to 13,418.54. The Nasdaq was down 6.21 point, or 0.24 percent to 2,594.85, while the S&P 500 dipped 2.01 points, or 0.14 percent to 1,481.94.