Stocks Return to Range-Bound Ways
Updated from 4:05 p.m. EDT
Stocks closed essentially where they began Wednesday after a volatile and indecisive session, as investors took little encouragement from a round of strong economic news amid reports of instability in Iraq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.64 points, or 0.01%, to 10,379.79; the S&P 500 added 1.58 points, or 0.14%, to 1133.59; and the Nasdaq ended up 2.64 points, or 0.13%, to 1998.24.
The 10-year Treasury note, which rallied Tuesday, was recently down 12/32 to yield 4.72%, following somewhat bullish housing industry data. Elsewhere, the dollar was higher against the yen and euro.In a light session, fewer than 1.2 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, while slightly more than 1.3 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. Advancers held close to a 5-to-4 edge over decliners on both exchanges. "The only good thing about today's market is that there hasn't been any enthusiasm generated on the downside," said Ken Tower, chief market strategist at CyberTrader. "With all this good economic news, you'd think we'd be able to get some sort of a bounce here. "Obviously, traders and investors don't care about the economy right now, at least good economic news," he added. "It seems like everyone's running scared on inflation still, so anything that is good economic news feeds those fears." In Iraq, sabotage attacks on two oil pipelines shut down the country's oil exports. The standstill threatens to remove 1.5 million barrels of oil a day from global markets, for at least the short term. The benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents, or 0.6%, to close at $37.65 a barrel, its second consecutive close below the $38 level. Gasoline prices lost about a half-cent to close at $1.146 a gallon. Larry Wachtel, senior market analyst at Wachovia Securities, said that Wall Street is wary of the precarious position of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq leading up to the June 30 deadline for the handover of sovereignty to the war-torn nation.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV