The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 12000 points on Friday, threatening to bring the stock market to a sixth consecutive week of losses. It would be the longest such slump since 2002.

The DJIA fell 143 points in late-morning trading.

Travelers Cos. said it is cutting share repurchases because second-quarter profits will suffer from the insurer's $1 billion in catastrophe costs.

Economic fears also stoked the fire sale on the stock market this morning. There are concerns over how the economy will react to the end of QE2 (quantitative easing), a bond-buying program initiated by the Federal Reserve in order to increase the money supply.

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