NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The major stock market averages shook off their European debt blues, staging a late-day reversal to finish slightly higher Monday.

Stocks were trading morosely for much of Monday's session after the

euro fell to a four-year low on continued concerns about the Continent's debt crisis.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, which plunged as much as 184 points during the day, finished 6 points higher, or 0.1%, to 10,626. The

S&P 500

added 1 point, or 0.1%, to close at 1137, and the

Nasdaq

improved 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2354.

"Confidence in the market is very fragile right now. This is the first modern sovereign debt crisis in the developed world," said Perry Piazza, co-chief investment strategist at Contango Capital Advisors, earlier in the session when stocks were near their lows. "The market is dealing with a combination of a market correction and concerns about the eurozone's ability to get its act together.

"The stock market is a forward-looking mechanism, and if the sovereign debt crisis blows up in a meaningful way, then there could be a big haircut on global growth," he said. "After all, a significant portion of U.S. growth has come from exports, so I think there is worry about future growth in the markets. I wouldn't call it fear so much as a repricing of where equities should be valued in terms of global growth prospects. I do think we'll see more support for U.S. equities because there is some safe-haven interest from foreign buyers, and fixed-income assets aren't looking all that attractive right now."

But stocks came off their lows late in the session alongside the euro. Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist at Channel Capital Research, said he expects volatility over the next couple of weeks and possibly through the summer, though he expects the ebbs and flows to occur within a range. Roberts said he is eyeing the 1140 area as a key technical mark on the S&P, later expressing awe at the intraday movement saying, "the ranges are amazing."

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.1% and Japan's Nikkei lost 2.2%. The FTSE in London fell 0.01%, and the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.2%.

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The Economy

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Index came in at 19.11 in May, compared with a reading of 31.86 in April. The level was well below the reading of 30 that economists had been expecting.

According to the Treasury Department's international capital data for March, net foreign purchases of long-term U.S. securities were $157.7 billion -- $125 billion of which reflects net purchases by private foreign investors. Net purchases by foreign official institutions were $32.7 billion. U.S. investors, meanwhile, purchased a net $17.1 billion of long-term foreign securities.

Foreign holdings of Treasury bills increased $23.9 billion in March.

The National Association of Home Builders said in a statement that builder confidence rose this month to its best level since August 2007. The group's index registered a 22 in May.

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Company News

Home-improvement retailer

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

topped analysts' first-quarter profit expectations, but its second-quarter outlook fell short of estimates.

General Motors

reported its first quarterly profit since 2007. The automaker said net earnings rose to $865 million, or $1.66 a share, from a year-ago loss of $6 billion, or $8.78 a share.

Shares of

Sirius XM Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

traded 0.9% higher at $1.08 after the company said it now expects 750,000 net subscriber additions in 2010, up from a previous for 500,000 new subscribers.

Universal Health Services

(UHS) - Get Report

will acquire

Psychiatric Solutions

(PSYS)

for $33.75 a share in cash, or roughly $2 billion.

BP

(BP) - Get Report

engineers made progress in attempts to taper some of the oil flowing from a busted well into the Gulf of Mexico by attaching a mile-long tube and directing the oil into a tanker ship.

Pactiv

( PTV), maker of Hefty-brand products like trash bags and disposable cookware, surged 18.7% on buyout rumors first reported in

The Wall Street Journal

.

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Commodities and the Dollar

Crude oil for June delivery

lost $1.55 to settle at $70.06 a barrel after trading under $70 during the session.

Elsewhere in commodity markets, the June gold contract settled 30 cents to finish at $1,228.10 an ounce.

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

dollar index up by 0.4%.

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Treasuries

The benchmark 10-year Treasury slipped 8/32, lifting the yield to 3.487%.

The two-year note was down 1/32, strengthening the yield to 0.802%. The 30-year bond slid 10/32, pushing the yield up to 4.360%.

--Written by Melinda Peer and Sung Moss in New York

.

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