Stocks Finish Lower in Wild Session

Major indexes dropped sharply, clawed back into positive territory, then retreated into the red Thursday. More volatility may lie ahead

Stocks finished modestly lower in heavy trading Thursday, after plunging at the outset on a rise in the Japanese yen and worries about a global economic slowdown. A solid report on manufacturing, government officials' upbeat talk on the economy, and surprisingly strong General Motors (GM) auto sales helped major indexes briefly reach positive territory. But a higher inflation reading suggested other concerns.

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