Sat, March 24, 2012
Business > Markets

US stocks end slightly higher on Friday

2012-03-23 22:35:32 GMT2012-03-24 06:35:32(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

NEW YORK, March 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Friday, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index posted worst weekly performance for the year.

As concerns about the default of Greek debt temporarily eliminated, a new round of concern about the global economic slowdown weighed on the market this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average logged a 3-day losing streak this week, while S&P 500 index lost grip of 1,400 mark.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 34.59 points, or 0.27 percent, to 13,080.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 4. 33 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,397.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 4.60 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,067.92.

For the week, the Dow declined 1.15 percent; the S&P gave up 0. 50 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.41 percent, logging its sixth-straight winning week. Energy sector was the biggest loser, while consumer discretionaries were the biggest gainer.

A handful of U.S. housing reports this week showed mixed results. Economic data indicated that U.S. home builders are more optimistic about the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders said Monday that its builder sentiment index for March stayed at 28, the highest level since June 2007.

The Commerce Department reported on Friday that U.S. new home sales slipped 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted 313,000-unit annual rate in February. The worse-than-expected housing data weighed on the market.

Chinese online retailer Vipshop Holdings went public on Friday, becoming the first Chinese companies listed in the U.S. market in 2012. However, its stock price dipped on the first day of trading, closing at 5.87 dollars per share, down 9.7 percent from its issuing price of 6.5 dollars per share.

Apple ended slightly lower than 600 dollars per share on Friday, after experiencing a sudden price decline of more than 10 percent in mid-day trading due to technical fault, which led to a 5-minute halt of trading.

On the earnings front, Nike lost more than 3 percent on Friday, despite the sport apparel maker posted strong quarterly profit.

On other markets, the dollar dipped against other currencies as the euro rebounded. Oil rose to close above 106 dollars a barrel on report of lower Iran oil supply. Gold price also gained more than 1 percent as risk-aversion appetite emerged.


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