Mixed week for stock mar­kets

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

The re­turn of the U.S. con­sumer was not enough to drive eq­ui­ties out of their weekly dol­drums — not with a Fed­eral Re­serve meet­ing loom­ing and Euro­pean lead­ers still wran­gling over Greece’s debt.

Stocks tracked by the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500-stock in­dex fin­ished the five days lit­tle changed. The gauge’s sev­enth con­sec­u­tive week with a move of less than 1 per­cent was not with­out drama, as eq­ui­ties be­gan the pe­riod with the big­gest three-day slide since March, only to re­bound with the best gain in a month.

While higher re­tail sales and a surge in con­fi­dence in­di­cated that Amer­i­can con­sumers got their mojo back and bol­stered op­ti­mism in the econ­omy, the specter of higher in­ter­est rates and the threat of Greek de­fault kept eq­ui­ties in check. The run of weekly calm could end as Fed of­fi­cials pre­pare to is­sue new fore­casts for the econ­omy and the path of rates, while Greece has less than a week to ac­cept the con­di­tions for aid.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1 per­cent, to 2094.11, in the pe­riod, while the Dow Jones industrial av­er­age climbed 49.38 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 17,898.84.

The U.S. Trea­sury will sell $24 bil­lion in three-month bills and $24 bil­lion in six­month bills Mon­day. They yielded mi­nus 0.025 per­cent and 0.1 per­cent, re­spec­tively, in when-is­sued trad­ing.

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