Stocks on Wall Street Hold Steady

The Dow was off 14 points to 11,440, and the S&P was tacking on 1 point to 1284. The Nasdaq was down 6 points at 2315.
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Updated from 7:54 a.m. EDT

U.S. stocks were in a holding pattern early Friday, with blue chips narrowly mixed and tech shares creeping to the downside.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was off 14 points to 11,440, and the

S&P 500

was tacking on 1 point to 1284. The

Nasdaq

was down 6 points at 2315.

The U.S. indices were rocked Thursday, in no small part because of a Goldman Sachs downgrade of the domestic investment banks and the firm's negative comments on

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

. Goldman's comments combined with weakness in

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

and

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

to create conditions for a steep selloff.

The Dow plunged 358.41 points, or 3%, and ended at 11,453.42, its lowest level in more than a year. The S&P fell 38.82 points, or 2.9%, to 1283.15, and the Nasdaq slumped 79.89 points, or 3.3%, to 2321.37.

Ahead of the new day, Goldman offered more of the same, this time cutting

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

to market perform from outperform. RIM also suffered a JMP Securities downgrade to market perform.

Lehman Brothers also weighed in on

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

, saying the brokerage could be facing another $5 billion in writedowns because of its exposure to the bond insurers.

Among earnings, homebuilder

KB Home

(KBH) - Get Report

posted a widened second-quarter loss that was worse than Wall Street's expectations.

Following the prior close,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

announced it would

eliminate 7,500 jobs after merging with mortgage lender

Countrywide Financial

(CFC)

.

Traders were also monitoring the latest surge in oil, whose run-up this year was given new fuel in the previous session by comments from OPEC's president that $170-a-barrel crude could be a reality this year.

Lately, oil was up 39 cents at $140.03 a barrel. It had previously reached a heretofore unseen price of $141.67. The

US Oil

(USO) - Get Report

ETF was adding 0.7% to $113.98. Gold was up $6.80 at $921.90.

In economic data, the Commerce Department's personal spending number climbed 0.8% from April to May, its biggest increase since November 2007. Personal income rose 1.9% for the month, beating analyst predictions of 0.7%.

Treasury prices were rising. The 10-year note was up 7/32 in price to yield 4.01%, and the 30-year was up 8/32, yielding 4.59%. The dollar was gaining against the euro, but losing ground to the yen.

European markets were mixed, while Asia's exchanges slid. London's FTSE was up 0.1%, and Frankfurt's DAX was down 0.5%. Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were both weaker.