Wall Street ended a volatile week with a mixed showing today as worries about credit markets and the economy tempered investors' upbeat...
NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a volatile week with a mixed showing today as worries about credit markets and the economy tempered investors’ upbeat sentiments about falling oil prices.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 43.97 to 11,659.90.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, was down 10 cents to $27.81. Boeing, another Dow stock, dropped 32 cents to $64.45.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5.27 to 1,298.20, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 1.15 to 2,452.52.
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Investors were encouraged early in the session as oil’s pullback lifted the outlook for consumer companies and eased concerns that record-high energy prices would force Americans to curb spending. Light, sweet crude dropped $1.24 to settle at $113.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and earlier traded as low as $111.34, its lowest level in more than three months.
Oil fell on a growing sense that economies around the world are joining the U.S. in a slowdown. The rising dollar, which is gaining strength on economic concerns, contributed to the sell-off in crude and other commodities.
Oil is down more than $35 from its July 11 record of $147.27; meanwhile, gold prices that swept past $1,000 an ounce earlier this year are now below $800.
While the decline in oil helped placate investors, it was not enough to offset the ever-present concerns posed by the slumping housing and credit markets. And that caused the major market indexes to fluctuate.
Moreover, the University of Michigan reported a slightly smaller-than-expected rise in consumer sentiment in early August compared with July. The news proved somewhat disappointing to Wall Street, which has been mindful of consumers’ struggles.