Jittery markets post first weekly loss since early May
NEW YORK - Caution has once again overcome the stock market. Stocks finished mixed yesterday, leaving all the major indexes with their first weekly loss since early May. Technology, financial, and retail stocks gained, while utilities and energy stocks fell.
NEW YORK - Caution has once again overcome the stock market.
Stocks finished mixed yesterday, leaving all the major indexes with their first weekly loss since early May. Technology, financial, and retail stocks gained, while utilities and energy stocks fell.
The market began the day stronger, after surprisingly good reports the day before on jobs and manufacturing. But the early gains gave way to selling in the afternoon, saddling the Dow Jones industrials with four days of losses over the last five.
Trading was also jumpy because of a quarterly "quadruple witching," which marks the simultaneous expiration of four kinds of options and futures contracts.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15.87, or 0.2 percent, to 8,539.73, with 16 of the 30 stocks that make up the average posting losses. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.86, or 0.3 percent, to 921.23, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 19.75, or 1.1 percent, to 1,827.47.
Analysts are divided over whether the market's pullback this week has more to go, or if it can now move higher after back-to-back weeks of relatively sideways movement. Last week, all the major indexes rose less than 1 percent.
Many predict choppy trading well through the summer, when there is typically less volume, and as the market heads into earnings season in July.
Next week will bring reports on existing-home sales and durable-goods orders, among others. Investors will also look to the Federal Reserve for any clues on its monetary policy as the central bank conducts a two-day policy meeting.
Tech stocks moved higher as Apple Inc.'s latest version of its popular iPhone hit store shelves. Apple shares added $3.60, or 2.7 percent, to $139.48, while rival smart-phone maker Palm Inc. jumped more than 6 percent, rising 87 cents to $13.93.
Oil prices reversed early gains and fell $1.82 to settle at $69.55 a barrel in light trading as the contract was set to close Monday.
The dollar fell against the euro and the British pound. Gold prices rose.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.9 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.5 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.04 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.9 percent.
BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd. reported a better-than-expected 33 percent increase in first-quarter earnings, but shipments were below expectations. The company's stock dropped $3.77, or 4.9 percent, to $72.78.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 3.24, or 0.6 percent, to 512.72.