US stocks close mixed after eurozone votes



NEW YORK — US stocks closed mixed Monday, showing little impact from the weekend votes in France and Greece which cast doubt on the path of financial reform across the troubled eurozone.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 29.74 points (0.23 percent) to 13,008.68, pulled lower by mild falls from Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard.

The S&P 500-stock index added 0.48 (0.04 percent) to 1,369.58, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.42 (0.05 percent) at 2,957.76.

Earlier all three indices had followed their European counterparts higher, trading more off positive German economic data than the prospects of more turmoil following the elections Sunday.

In both France and Greece voters on Sunday turned out the existing leadership and strongly backed parties opposed to austerity programs aimed at fixing their budget problems.

But the US markets fell back in the last hour of trade, after fresh data showed an unexpectedly strong rise in consumer borrowing in March, even as incomes have remained flat.

“Consumer credit totaled $21.4 billion in March — that is almost double the $11.0 billion that had been broadly expected among economists,” said Bank of America led the gainers on the blue-chip Dow, adding 2.8 percent. Insurer AIG dropped 3.0 percent to $31.84 after majority owner the US Treasury said it had sold off 164 million of its shares at $30.50.

Drugs giant Abbot Laboratories gained 0.2 percent despite being hit with $1.6 billion in fines to end a four-year probe into its having marketed anti-seizure medication Depakote for other unauthorized uses.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares soared 55.4 percent after announcing some success in tests on a drug, Kalydeco, aimed at treating cystic fibrosis.

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