US stocks wobble to moderate gains
NEW YORK—US stocks managed to eke out moderate gains in choppy trade Tuesday as investors weighed an unexpected growth pickup in the services sector and Europe’s long-running financial crisis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.49 points, or 0.22 percent, to finish at 12,127.95, snapping a four-day losing streak.
The S&P 500-stock index rose 7.32 (0.57 percent) to 1,285.50, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 18.10 (0.66 percent) to 2,778.11.
Stocks got a fleeting shot in the arm from the Institute for Supply Management’s services index on the sector that accounts for about 70 percent of the US economy.
The ISM index rose to 53.7 percent in May from 53.5 percent in April, indicating a slightly faster growth rate. Expectations were for a decline.
The action was marked by an initial lack of conviction despite the surprisingly positive ISM report, Charles Schwab analysts said.
“Any hopes of a grand plan for calming the eurozone debt crisis coming out of an emergency conference call of G7 finance leaders were dashed, as the call came and went without any significant results,” they said.
Stocks had opened with minor losses after Standard & Poor’s estimated that there is a one-in-three chance that debt-stressed Greece would exit the eurozone.
In a teleconference Tuesday, the European members of the Group of Seven industrialized economies vowed to respond “speedily” to the crisis, according to Japan’s finance minister, Jun Azumi.
The Dow’s top gainers were JPMorgan Chase, up 3.2 percent, and Hewlett-Packard, up 2.9 percent.
United Technologies led the blue-chip decliners, losing 0.8 percent.
Shares in The Walt Disney Company, a Dow component, rose almost one percent.
The media giant announced nutrition guideline standards on food and beverage advertising on programming targeting children to promote healthy lifestyles amid an obesity epidemic. The guidelines will be required by 2015.
Global soft-drinks leader Coca-Cola fell 0.5 percent. PepsiCo, which sells both beverages and snack foods, shed 0.7 percent.
Facebook shares continued to slide, losing 3.8 percent to finish at $25.87. That was 32 percent below the May 18 IPO price of $38.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond to 1.56 from 1.53 percent Monday, while the 30-year increased to 2.62 percent from 2.57 percent.
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
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