The Dow industrials ended the week down and the S&P 500 ended a tad
lower, after both hit record highs earlier in the week.
A monthly gauge of U.S. consumer sentiment fell in May as a gloomy
view on income growth clouded an otherwise positive economic
outlook, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed.
But the Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts jumped in April
and building permits hit their highest in nearly six years, offering
hope the troubled American housing market could be stabilizing.
The data provided fodder for those who expect the economy to
struggle in the second half of the year, while the housing report
bolstered those who see stronger growth ahead. Weighing on that
tug-of-war were expectations of a market correction.
MSCI's all-country world index <.MIWD00000PUS> was up 0.1 percent
but still off a high set on Thursday. The pan-European FTSEurofirst
300 index <.FTEU3> closed up 0.3 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 44.5 points, or 0.27
percent, to end at 16,491.31. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 7.01 points,
or 0.37 percent, to 1,877.86 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added
21.296 points, or 0.52 percent, to 4,090.588.
For the week, the Dow fell 0.56 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.03
percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.46 percent.
"The market's held in, and I think technically there's a sense it
didn't break down," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor
division at O'Neil Securities in New York. "People came in expecting
it was going to be another day like yesterday and the fact is, it
didn't turn out like that at all."
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The Russell 2000 <.TOY> index of small-cap companies briefly entered
correction territory on Thursday, defined as a 10 percent decline
from a recent high. It rose 0.63 percent on Friday, and was 9.1
percent below its recent peak in early March.
U.S. Treasuries prices fell after the housing data pointed to a
strengthening economy, pulling yields on benchmark 10-year notes up
from six-month lows. They fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.5213
The dollar held steady against major currencies as U.S. yields
The dollar traded at 101.52 yen, down 0.04 percent, and rose against
the euro, up 0.1 percent at $1.3695.
Brent crude oil rose above $109 a barrel after a recovery in Libyan
oil supply proved short-lived and tension simmered over Ukraine.
Brent crude rose 66 cents to settle at $109.75 a barrel. U.S. crude
climbed 52 cents to settle at $102.02.
(Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Bernadette
Baum, Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)
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