Facebook IPO fails to stop downward spiral of Dow

It’s going to take more than Facebook’s initial public offering to push the stock market higher.

Facebook shares rose 23 cents above their $38 offering price. It seemed like everything else fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average has been in a slump over the past two weeks as traders saw an escalating risk that Greece could leave the euro, causing more disruptions in markets.

The Dow was up 8.7 percent for the year. After Friday, it’s up just 1.2 percent.

On Friday the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 73.11 points, to close at 12,369.38. It fell 3.5 percent for the week. The Dow has now declined on 12 of the last 13 trading days.

Nine of the 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell. Financials dropped the most, 1.1 percent.

“The serious investors remain very concerned about the developments in Europe,” said Jim Russell, regional investment director for US Bank Wealth Management in Cincinnati. “We think Facebook is a little bit of a sideshow. Great company. But maybe one that’s valued on the high side of most people’s tastes.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 9.64 points to close at 1,295.22. The Nasdaq composite index fell 34.90 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 2,778.79.

Spanish company abandons exploratory oil well off Cuba

An exploratory oil well off the northern coast of Cuba has proved a failure and will be capped and abandoned, Spanish company Repsol said Friday, a disappointment for a cash-strapped nation hoping for an economic lifeline.

Trial and error is par for the course in oil exploration, however, and analysts said the news is far from a death blow to Cuba’s petroleum dreams.

Repsol SA is evaluating the data it collected since the Scarabeo-9 rig arrived off the coast of Havana in January after a months-long, round-the-world trek from construction sites in China and Singapore. The company has not yet decided whether to sink further wells in the area, spokesman Kristian Rix said.

Rix said four of every five offshore wells come up dry, and it’s too soon to determine whether other parts of Repsol’s exploration block are commercially viable.

“Mapping an (offshore) oil field is like trying to draw a map of a city when all you have is one in 10 lampposts working and a bit of a fog,” Rix said by phone from Madrid.

Delta blames website glitch for frequent flier price issue

Delta Air Lines said a glitch that appeared to show different airfares to frequent fliers happened because it was trying out a new company to power flight searches on its website.

The airline is taking heat from customers after reports that people who logged into its website with their frequent flier number were offered higher fares than those who searched anonymously. Frequent fliers are an airline’s most-valued customers, and the idea that they were asked to pay more has rankled travelers.

The Transportation Department said it is “looking into the Delta pricing issue.”

— From news service reports