Update: Stocks fall after weak manufacturing reports

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell Thursday following new signs that the recovery remains tepid even as companies report strong earnings.

Regional manufacturing indexes in New York and Philadelphia plummeted this month, but a national report showed modest growth in industrial output nationwide. The government also reported that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell, but that was largely because of seasonal factors.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 79 points, putting its seven-day winning streak in severe jeopardy.

Industrial companies like Caterpillar Inc., General Electric Co. and United Technologies Corp. all fell after the weak manufacturing reports.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was the latest company to report big profits, following Intel Corp. and Alcoa Inc. earlier in the week. The bank also cut down its loan-loss reserves, which could be a sign that mortgage and loan defaults are moderating.

However, JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon still struck a cautious tone about future economic growth.

"Earnings are strong," said Sandy Mehta, principal and chief investment officer of Value Investment Principals. "But the underlying economy is not as strong."

Mehta said investors are readjusting their views for future economic growth after being disappointed by economic reports in May and June.

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