Dow falls for 5th straight session on grim data

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and National City Corp. shareholders approved PNC's acquisition of the Cleveland-based bank, and Wells Fargo & Co. and Wachovia Corp. shareholders approved Wells Fargo's $11.8 billion purchase of the Charlotte-based bank.

Shares of Pittsburgh-based PNC rose 33 cents to $43.01, and National City shares edged up 4 cents, or 2.5%, to $1.65 on its last day of trading.

Shares of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo fell 43 cents to $26.99, and Wachovia shares fell 15 cents to $5.30.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Oil prices fell on concerns that energy demand is evaporating in the face of a severe global economic slowdown. Light, sweet crude fell 93 cents to settle at $38.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dipping below $38 earlier in the day.

The plunge in energy prices has brought little comfort to stock investors. The downturn should give consumers a break when they heat their homes and fill their cars' tanks, but it is a glaring sign of the grim economic outlook and the shattered financial industry.

In overseas markets, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.57%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.75%. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.16%, Germany's DAX index fell 0.21%, and France's CAC-40 fell 0.73%.

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