Stocks Finish Mixed on Late Weakness


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages finished mixed on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its first down week of the month.

Equities were in positive territory for most of the session with investor sentiment lifted by hopes for clarity on a rescue program for Spain, strong quarterly results from homebuilder KB Home ( KBH) and the global availability of Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone 5, but selling pressure arrived in the final hour.

The Dow fell more than 17 points, or 0.13%, to close at 13,580. The blue-chip index, which was up nearly 50 points at its high for the day, snapped a three-session winning streak and was down 0.10% for the week.

Decliners outpaced advancers within the Dow, 17 to 13. The biggest losers were Alcoa ( AA), Cisco ( CSCO) and Coca-Cola ( KO).

Blue-chip winners included Exxon ( XOM), General Electric ( GE), and McDonald's ( MCD), which rose 0.60% after announcing a 15% dividend hike.

The S&P 500 was down incrementally, slipping 0.01%, to settle at 1460. The index finished the week down 0.41%. The Nasdaq was the lone winner, adding 4 points, or 0.13%, to close at 3180. The tech-heavy index lost 0.12% on the week.

The strongest sectors in the broad market were health care and energy. Transportation, basic materials and consumer non-cyclicals were in the red. Volume totaled 4.75 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and 2.53 billion on the Nasdaq.

There was some optimism in early trading following a report that European Union officials are working to pave the way for a new rescue program for Spain. The Financial Times said an economic reform package for Spain is expected to be revealed next week.

The paper said the program will concentrate on structural reforms for Spain's economy instead of more taxes and spending cuts.

"With the decision-making process of the Euro area distilled down to a very small number of people, such stories are just speculative," noted Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS. "However, Spanish conditions relating to structural reform not fiscal targets would be helpful, as Spain stands a good chance of missing its fiscal targets."

The FTSE in London finished flat and the DAX in Germany closed up 0.84%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up by 0.7% and the Nikkei in Japan finished up 0.25%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 3/32. diluting the yield to 1.756%. The greenback was up 0.02%, according to the dollar index.

November crude oil futures tacked on 47 cents to settle at $92.89 a barrel. December gold futures settled up $7.80 at $1,778.

In corporate news, Oracle ( ORCL), the software giant, reported an in-line profit Thursday for its fiscal first quarter but fell short on revenue by a wide margin. The stock rose less than 1%.

Shares of Darden Restaurants ( DRI) gained nearly 5% after the Orlando, Fla.-based restaurant operator, whose chains include Olive Garden and Red Lobster, topped Wall Street's earnings expectations for its fiscal first quarter.

KB Home booked a third-quarter profit following two quarters of losses, saying that "it is clear" the recovery in housing is gaining momentum nationwide with inventory levels declining and home prices rising. The stock jumped more than 16%.

Shares of high-end apparel designer Michael Kors ( KORS) surged more than 9% after the company hiked its fiscal second-quarter and full-year earnings guidance.


--Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

More from Markets

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%