March 26th, 2010
07:23 PM ET

Positive week for stocks, oil prices end at $80

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

A mixed Friday ends stocks' up week

Stocks closed mixed Friday, at the end of another up week, as investors considered the Greek bailout package, reports of a naval conflict between North and South Korea and a weaker U.S. dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average added a few points, according to early tallies. The S&P 500 index was little changed. The Nasdaq composite lost a few points.

Stocks rose through the early afternoon after European leaders agreed to a bailout package for Greece and other debt-plagued euro zone nations, cooling fears of a default that would roil global markets. The Greece news overshadowed a report that showed the economy grew at a slower pace than initially thought in the fourth quarter of last year.

But reports of a conflict between North and South Korea may have caused some stock selling. Reports said an explosion tore a hole in a South Korean vessel in the disputed waters near North Korea, and South Korean officials were investigating whether it was an attack from the North.

Oil prices sit at $80

Oil prices ticked lower Friday amid volatile trading, as investors searched for clear signs that the global economic recovery will stick.

What prices are doing: Crude prices for May delivery fell 53 cents to settle at $80.00 a barrel.

Oil prices have traded within a tight range over the past few weeks, struggling to hold gains amid uncertainty in Europe. After a volatile trading session Friday, prices finished the week down 2% from a high of $81.91. Prices are now 3.8% below a 2010 peak of roughly $83.18 a barrel.

Bond market fires shot across U.S. bow

Treasury prices drifted higher Friday as investors moved to take advantage of sharply higher yields following a lukewarm auction of $118 billion in U.S. notes earlier this week.

The benchmark 10-year note rose 9/32 to 98-6/32, pushing the yield down to 3.85 percent. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 2-year note gained 2/32 to 99-29/32 with a yield of 1.06 percent. The 30-year bond rose 7/32 to 98-2/32 with a yield of 4.75 percent.

Despite the modest rebound on Friday, Treasurys are on track to post a weekly decline as investors fret about weakening demand for U.S. debt.

Dollar softens on Greece aid agreement

The dollar eased against the euro Friday after European Union leaders announced a plan to aid Greece if the debt-stricken nation needs to be rescued.

What prices are doing: The dollar was down 1% versus the euro to $1.3404 and it fell 0.5 percent against the U.K. pound to trade at $1.4885. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was down 0.2 percent to ¥92.56.

What's moving the market: European leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels on Thursday approved an emergency bailout plan that could be used to rescue the Greek economy and keep its financial crisis from spreading across the continent.

The bailout would include money from euro-area member states, but it also could involve substantial funding from the International Monetary Fund.

The accord helped boost the euro, though analysts said the outlook for the shared currency remains cloudy. reporters Chavon Sutton, Ben Rooney and Alexandra Twin contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jim

    So this means monday... Dow Jones falls.

    March 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |