Dow, S&P struggle for fourth week in a row

May 27, 2011: 4:51 PM ET
U.S. stock market

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks rose modestly Friday, with trading volume light as traders positioned themselves ahead of the the long holiday weekend.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 39 points, or 0.3%, to 12,442; the S&P 500 (SPX) added 5.4 points, or 0.4%, to 1,331; and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) climbed 14 points, or 0.5%, to 2,797.

Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) was the Dow's top performer, rising 2%, followed by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500) and Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500).

Despite Friday's gains, all three indexes ended the week lower. The Dow fell 0.6%, the S&P 500 fell 0.2%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.2%. Both the Dow and S&P have fallen for four consecutive weeks.

Stocks received some support on Friday from the University of Michigan's May consumer sentiment survey, which rose more than expected. But a disappointing 11.6% drop in April pending home sales "took some of the wind out of the positive consumer sentiment data," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist with Cantor Fitzgerald.

Overall, U.S. stocks have struggled this month, as optimism over upbeat corporate earnings has been tempered by signs the economy could be entering a slow period.

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All three major indexes are down about 3% for the month, but analysts say the market is still headed higher this year.

Trading was subdued Friday, with volumes well below typical daily averages, as investors were reluctant to place big bets ahead of a long weekend. The stock market will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.

Stocks edged higher Thursday, as momentum in the technology sector offset disappointing reports on economic growth and the labor market.

Economy: Personal income and spending both rose 0.4% in April. Income was in line with Briefing.com estimates, while economists had forecast a 0.5% increase for spending.

Companies: Marvell Technologies (MRVL) shares jumped 11% after the company issued an upbeat second-quarter profit outlook.

Toyota (TM), Nissan (NSANY) and Honda (HMC) all reported sharp declines in sales and production during April, as the fallout from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami continue to take a toll on Japan's auto industry. Shares of the three major Japanese automakers edged lower.

PayPal sued Google for allegedly stealing trade secrets related to mobile payment technology. Shares of PayPal's parent company, eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500), and Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) edged higher.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

Oil for July delivery gained 36 cents to $100.59 a barrel.

Gold futures for June delivery rose $13.50 to $1,536.30 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury eased, pushing the yield up to 3.07% from 3.06% late Thursday.

World markets: Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook for Japan's economy to "negative" from "stable," saying the government needs to do more to reduce its long-term debt load. But the agency said Japan's credit rating remains supported by a high savings rate among the nation's population.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite slid nearly 1%, and Japan's Nikkei dipped 0.4%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.9%.

European stocks closed higher. Britain's FTSE 100 added 1%, the DAX in Germany ticked up 0.7% and France's CAC 40 advanced 1%. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,982.59 22.02 0.13%
Nasdaq 4,444.91 0.00 0.00%
S&P 500 1,978.91 0.57 0.03%
Treasuries 2.49 0.02 0.89%
Data as of 4:46am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 99.02 1.99 2.05%
Facebook Inc 74.92 -0.06 -0.08%
Bank of America Corp... 15.50 -0.09 -0.58%
Dollar Tree Inc 54.87 -0.08 -0.15%
Family Dollar Stores... 75.74 15.08 24.86%
Data as of Jul 28
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15 yr fixed3.23%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.45%
30 yr refi4.17%4.23%
15 yr refi3.21%3.25%
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