Wall Street ended a volatile week with a moderate gain today after better-than-expected economic data placated a market pummeled a day earlier...
NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a volatile week with a moderate gain today after better-than-expected economic data placated a market pummeled a day earlier by concerns about housing and the financial sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21.41 to 11,370.69, after falling more than 280 points Thursday.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, rose 72 cents to close at $26.16 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained $1.30 to $63.83.
Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced 5.22 to 1,257.76, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 30.42 to 2,310.53.
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The Commerce Department’s report on June home sales helped investors shake off some early uncertainty. The government said sales of new single-family homes fell by 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units; the market expected sales to total 505,000. That report helped offset concerns raised by a weak reading on existing home sales on Thursday.
And there was good news about consumers, whose shyness about spending has troubled Wall Street. The Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment for the first part of July came in at 61.2, while economists forecast a reading of 56.4, which was the level hit in June — a 28-year-low.
The Commerce Department also said orders for durable goods rose 0.8 percent last month, far better than the 0.4 percent decline economists expected. It was the best showing since a 1.1 percent rise in February and reflected strength in demand for heavy machinery, primary metals such as steel and even a slight rebound in the beleaguered auto industry.