Stocks Notch Paltry Gains - TheStreet

Stocks Notch Paltry Gains

Stocks pulled above the flat line in the final stretch to close higher on both the session and the week. Gregg Greenberg provides The Real Story.
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) -- Stocks finished Friday's session in positive territory after a sluggish day of trading despite the expiration of four different types of futures and options contracts.

Stocks climbed above the flat line in the final stretch of trading, ending both the session and the week with gains. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 17 points, or 0.2%, to close at 10,451 with a 2.4% gain on the week. The

S&P 500

also advanced 2.4% week over week after finishing higher by 2 points, or 0.1%, at 1118. The


was 3% higher on the week after rising by 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2310 on Friday.

"People are seeing stabilization in the euro and that has been key to making people feel more comfortable in our market in terms of adding risk," said Howard Ward, chief investment officer of the Gamco Growth Equities and Gamco Growth Fund. "And frankly, stocks are cheap. There has been a big disconnect between what companies are saying and the level of fear in the market."

Ward sees value in domestic large-cap growth stocks, which had been the worst place to be for the last 10 years compared to government bonds and small-cap value stocks, he said.

"This is now the best place to be. Corporate balance sheets have never been better, we're going to have record earnings, and valuations have been crushed over the last 10 years."

Ward advises staying out of consumer discretionary stocks, which are closely tied to payroll growth, and financials, because he believes the private sector is in a deleveraging phase.

"I think tech stocks are extremely attractive, and I think the energy trade will come roaring back," he said, adding, "We still like gold, and industrial stocks, while they aren't as cheap as tech and energy, the industrial companies are doing very well -- especially those that are selling goods to emerging markets."

Overseas on Friday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng increased 0.7% while Japan's Nikkei slipped by 0.04%. The FTSE in London dipped 0.06% lower, while the DAX in Frankfurt finished down by 0.1%.

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The Economy

Friday's session was sluggish despite expectations that quadruple witching, or the simultaneous expiration of four different futures and options contracts, would end the trading week on a turbulent note.

There were no economic reports released during the session.


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>>Commodities and the Dollar


Company News


(BP) - Get Report

shares were among the most heavily traded on the S&P following news that Chief Executive Tony Hayward will no longer head day-to-day operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The change came on the same day that the

Financial Times

reported that Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is seeking possible candidates to

replace Hayward. The stock finished 5 cents, or 0.2% higher at $31.76.

Earlier on Thursday,

Moody's downgraded BP's unsecured ratings and all subsidiary-issued long-term debt securities by three notches to A2. The ratings agency expects the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to hamper the company's free cash flow generation and financial profile for years and said another debt-rating cut may be warranted.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report


Du Pont

(DD) - Get Report



(CAT) - Get Report

helped hold the Dow in positive territory for the majority of Friday's session.

On the Nasdaq,

NMT Medical



Cowlitz Bancorp


, and

Centrue Financial

(TRUE) - Get Report

saw the best performance, while




New Generation Biofuels Holdings




(BANR) - Get Report

were the biggest laggards.

Record gold prices made it a good day for

gold miners.

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Report

gained 2.6%,

Barrick Gold


rose 3.5% and

Vista Gold

(VGZ) - Get Report

advanced 5.2%.

Shares of

Pacific Capital Bancorp


lost more than 10% after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that main subsidiary

Pacific Capital Bank

entered into a consent order with the regulator.

Production of


(AAPL) - Get Report

iPhone has been hindered by display screen shortages. The stock gained $2.20, or 0.8%, to $274.07.

Under a new agreement between drugstore rivals,



will continue to participate in

CVS Caremark's

(CVS) - Get Report

pharmacy benefits management business for existing, new and renewed plans. Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed.



intends to pump billions of dollars in cash into its mobile-phone business when it will be spun off into a separate company next year, according to a

Wall Street Journal


Banco Santander


submitted an offer for roughly 300 branches of

Royal Bank of Scotland

(RBS) - Get Report



(C) - Get Report

is reportedly planning to raise more than $3 billion for its private-equity and hedge funds, according to




>>The Economy

>>Commodities and the Dollar


Commodities and the Dollar

Crude oil for July delivery added 39 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $77.18 a barrel.

Elsewhere in commodity markets, the August

gold contract gained $9.60, or 0.8%, to settle at $1258.30 an ounce.

The dollar was trading slightly lower against a basket of currencies, with the

dollar index down by 0.1%.


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The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down by 10/32, lifting the yield to 3.227%.

The two-year note slipped 1/32, increasing the yield to 0.718%. The 30-year bond was slipping 13/32, raising the yield to 4.147%.

--Written by Melinda Peer in New York



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