Stocks zigzag amid calm stretch

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

U.S. stocks traded in their tight­est weekly range in 21 years as in­vestors sorted through data that kept them guess­ing about the econ­omy’s re­siliency.

Eq­ui­ties slipped af­ter zigzag­ging be­tween gains and losses, with the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500-stock in­dex end­ing the pe­riod lower by 0.7 per­cent. This is the sixth straight week with a move of less than 1 per­cent, the long­est stretch of calm since May 1994.

Fri­day’s ac­tion was a mi­cro­cosm of the week, as the in­dex swung from green to red more than a dozen times. Jobs data that showed the strong­est hir­ing in five months and the big­gest wage gains since 2013 bol­stered op­ti­mism in the econ­omy and fu­eled bets that the Fed­eral Re­serve would raise in­ter­est rates this year.

Eq­ui­ties in­vestors, al­ready skit­tish amid a sell-off in global bonds and with signs that Greece’s debt stand­off could end in de­fault, are weigh­ing whether higher bor­row­ing costs will snuff out a strug­gling re­cov­ery.

The S&P 500 ended the week 1.8 per­cent be­low its May 21 record. The gauge has not moved more than 1 per­cent ei­ther way in 14 of the past 15 ses­sions, and the spread be­tween the high­est and low­est close this year has been only 6.9 per­cent, the nar­row­est since 2006.

The U.S. trea­sury will sell $24 bil­lion in three-month and six-month bills Mon­day. They yielded mi­nus-0.5 per­cent and 0.085 per­cent, re­spec­tively, in when-is­sued trad­ing.

Edi­tor’s note: Go­ing for­ward, our weekly com­pos­ite stock list­ing high­lights com­pa­nies based in Wash­ing­ton or with a strong pres­ence here. The rest of the ta­ble shows firms as ranked by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion. And we’ve added year-to-date data be­cause read­ers told us it would be use­ful.

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