Mixed week for stock 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.