US stocks flat as Europe debt fears linger

US stocks flat as Europe debt fears linger

By: || Updated: 01 Jan 1970 12:00 AM


New York: US
stocks ended flat on Monday as positive US housing sales data offset the
lingering European debt concerns, Xinhua reported.

The Dow Jones
industrial average was trading in positive territory for most of the
session after rebounding from a 100-point drop at the market open, but it
turned lower in the last minutes and failed to settle above the key
psychological level of 13,000. The blue-chip index dipped 1.44 points, or
0.01 percent, at 12,981.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.85
points, or 0.14 percent, to 1,367.59, which was the highest close since
June 2008. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.41 points, or 0.08 percent,
to 2,966.16.

In the earlier trading session, the stocks traded
lower as concerns about European ongoing debt crisis re-surfaced. The
highly-awaited Group of 20 meeting over the weekend ended up with few
exciting outcomes. Disappointingly, the G20 finance ministers and central
bankers didn't work out an agreement on providing more rescue funds to the
debt-burdened Europe.

They asked the euro zone to raise extra
funds to fight against the ongoing crisis before it turned to the rest of
the world. Besides, the crude oil prices snapped the 7-day rally on a weak
sentiment, pulling down the energy sector. Recently, crude prices kept
rising as the Iran supplies disruption risks lingered on the markets.

Since
this year's beginning, New York crude benchmark WTI and London Brent crude
have risen over 10 percent. On the economic front, the National
Association of Realtors said that pending US house sales rose 2.0 percent
in January, reaching a nearly 2-year high and indicating a strengthening
recovery in the US housing market. This lifted the Dow Jones home
construction index and the Nasdaq's housing sector.

Among the key
S&P sectors, banks and consumer discretionary rose, while energy
slipped. Thanks to Warren Buffet's supports, Wells Fargo, Bank of America
and JP Morgan were among the most biggest gainers, rising respectively
2.82 percent, 2.03 percent and 2.04 percent. Big energy company Exxon
Mobil Corp. dipped 0.13 percent.

In other markets, the euro
retreated from previous highs against the US greenback as the Greek debt
concerns resurfaced. The dollar index climbed about 0.5 percent. Gold
contracts dropped moderately on the strengthening dollar and
profits-taking.




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