Stocks Battle Back to Finish With Mild Losses


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks battled back to close with mild losses on Thursday as strength in the consumer cyclicals, energy and utilities sectors offset weakness in the financials and technology.

All three major U.S. equity indices were down more than 1% at their lows of the session but buyers arrived in the final hour of what was a busy news day that featured a report that JPMorgan Chase's infamous trading loss on credit derivatives could climb as high as $9 billion, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's sweeping health care legislation, and start of a two-day meeting of Europe's leaders in Brussels about the region's debt crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 25 points, or 0.20%, to close at 12,602. The blue-chip index rallied more than 150 points off its session low of 12,450.

The S&P 500 gave back 3 points, or 0.21%, to finish at 1329, ending its two-day winning streak. Its low for the day was 1313.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped roughly 26 points, or 0.90%, to settle at 2849.

Within the Dow, 16 of the 30 components were lower, led by JPMorgan, Intel ( INTC), Cisco ( CSCO) and United Technologies ( UTX).

Shares of JPMorgan shares fell nearly 2.5% following a The New York Times report that said the losses tied to the firm's hedging-related trading debacle could balloon to as much as $9 billion. The report cited people who have been briefed on the situation. Previous reported estimates had the bank's potential liability topping out at around $5 billion.

The Times said JPMorgan is now out of more than half of the trade and may be completely free before the end of this year. The bank plans to disclose part of the total losses on the trade on July 13, when it reports its second-quarter results.

Among the blue chips finishing in positive territory were AT&T ( T), Chevron ( CVX), Kraft Foods ( KFT), and Chevron ( CVX).

Breadth on the New York Stock Exchange was slightly positive while losers still outpaced winners on the Nasdaq by a 1.5-to-1 ratio.

The FTSE in London finished lower by 0.56% and the DAX in Germany finished behind by 1.27%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled down by 0.79% and the Nikkei in Japan closed ahead by 1.65%.

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