Stocks Finish Mixed Ahead of Friday's Job Report
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks managed to claw their way out of deep losses to finish mixed on Thursday as investors saw signs of hope in better-than-expected U.S. jobs data ahead of the government's Friday report monthly jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat after spending most of the day in negative territory, dropping 3 points, or less than 0.1%, at 12,414. The S&P 500 climbed 4 points, or 0.3%, at 1,281. The Nasdaq led gains, advancing 22 points, or 0.8%, at 2,670.
The Dow's 30 components were roughly split between positive and negative, as Bank of America (BAC), up 80%, led gains. Boeing (BA), Chevron (CVX) and United Technologies (UTX) were dragging the index lower.
Headlines from Europe returned to the forefront after a brief period of quiet in the last days of 2011 to drag stocks lower in the morning. Already, stocks lost steam yesterday with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing about flat, and the Dow ekking out 21 points.On Thursday, France sold 10-year bonds at a yield of 3.29%, up from 3.18% at a similar auction in December. Meanwhile, yields of Hungary's one-year bills climbed to their highest level since 2009. Upcoming debt auctions are expected to further highlight soaring borrowing costs in the region, with Italy and Spain holding their own bond auctions next week. The euro, often a gauge of sentiment on Europe's debt crisis, was dropping more than 1% to its lowest level against the dollar in more than a year. "We are all well aware that European governments must refinance a lot of debt this year, and are anxiously monitoring when the next auctions are scheduled," said Ed Yardeni, economist and strategist with Yardeni Research.
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