S&P 500 ekes out 7th weekly gain after trade

2013-02-16 01:13:49 GMT2013-02-16 09:13:49(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The S&P 500 eked out the seventh straight weekly gain on Friday after a thin but choppy trading day amid mixed economic data and slumping sales of Wal-Mart.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 8.37 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,981.76. The S&P 500 went down 1.59 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,519.79. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 6.63 points, or 0.21 percent, to 3,192.03.

Wal-Mart shares began to tumble at about 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) after Bloomberg reported that an internal memo called February sales at the world's biggest retailer "a total disaster," dragging down the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 to intraday lows.

However, the retail giant shares rebounded soon as Wal-Mart spokesmen responded to the report, clarifying that internal communications were often not entirely accurate, and the internal memo lacked a proper context and represent individual opinions. Shares of Wal-Mart shares finally shed 2.15 percent to close at 69.30 U.S. dollars.

Wall Street traded in a narrow range throughout the day in reaction to mixed economic data.

The U.S. industrial production unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in January after rising 0.4 percent in December, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

Analysts had predicted a 0.3-percent rise. The drop was mainly due to declines in manufacturing and mining sectors.

Separately, the New York Federal Reserve said conditions for New York manufactures in February increased sharply to 10.0 from a previous reading of minus 7.8, the first positive reading since last July. The figure indicated resounding positive manufacturing conditions and firming business optimism.

Besides, U.S. consumer sentiment in February rose to the highest level since November, according to a joint survey by University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters.

On individual companies, CBS shares rallied 3.96 percent to 44.64 dollars even after the media company missed analysts' estimates on fourth-quarter revenue.

Kraft Foods shares added 0.02 percent to 47.17 dollars after the company said it expected a 10.7-percent drop in revenue for its fourth quarter but raised its earnings forecast for this year.

UPS shares inched up 0.96 percent to 83.48 dollars after the logistics giant raised its quarterly dividend.

Composite volume was light, with some 3.8 billion shares changing hands for NYSE-listed stocks and 1.8 billion for Nasdaq-listed stocks.

For the week, the S&P 500 managed to eke out a seventh consecutive weekly gain of 0.1 percent, while both the Dow and the Nasdaq was down 0.1 percent. But trading was limited within a tight range this week, with gains and declines no bigger than 0.35 percent.

Crude prices sank as industrial production in the world' s largest oil consumer surprisingly decreased in January.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery lost 1.45 dollars, or 1.49 percent to settle at 95.86 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the benchmark price still gained 0.15 percent.

On the London ICE Futures Exchange, Brent crude for April delivery also fell and last traded around 117 dollars a barrel and was on track for its first weekly loss in over one month.

The U.S. dollar advanced against the yen as the meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20) finance chiefs in Moscow, Russia appeared not to highlight Japan' s easing monetary policies and yens weakness.

In late New York trading, the euro climbed to 1.3355 dollars from 1.3347 dollars of the previous session and the British pound climbed to 1.5514 from 1.5484 dollars.

The dollar slipped to 0.9223 Swiss francs from 0.9228 and went up to 1.0073 Canadian dollars from 1.0014. The dollar bought 93.42 Japanese yen, higher than 93.02 in the previous session.

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