May 21st, 2010
08:00 PM ET

Euro rebounds amid speculation over intervention

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

Stocks stage advance

Stocks ended higher Friday, finding momentum at the end of a choppy session in which concerns over global growth vied with investor willingness to scoop up shares beaten down in the recent sell-off.

Selling earlier this week left major gauges lower for the week, with the Dow and S&P 500 both down around 4 percent and the Nasdaq off around 5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 125 points or 1.3 percent, after falling as much as 150 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 index gained 16 points or 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq composite gained 25 points or 1.1 percent after having been on both sides of breakeven throughout the session.

The CBOE Volatility index, the VIX, Wall Street's fear gauge, fell 12 percent to 39.88 as investor anxiety lessened. The VIX had fallen substantially in the early afternoon after spiking on Thursday to a 14-month high of 45.48.

Oil falls to $70 
 
Oil prices fell around $70 a barrel as investors remained wary that Europe's debt crisis and growing oil stockpiles will cut demand for fuel.

Crude for July delivery, which becomes the active contract Friday, slipped 76 cents, or 1.07 percent, to settle at $70.04 a barrel. The day before, the June futures contract settled at $68.01 when it expired. Gasoline prices fell for the 15th consecutive day, slipping to $2.827 a gallon from $2.840 the day before, according to a survey by motorist group AAA.

U.S. equities posted modest gains in the afternoon after a choppy morning. Investors have pulled out of oil amid volatile stock market, seeking safe-havens like Treasurys or the dollar. Traders have been worried that economic instability in Europe may cut demand for fuel. Oil prices, as a result, have fallen about $15 per barrel in a month.

Euro continues rebound

The euro continued bouncing off four-year lows seen earlier this week, as investors unwound bets against the shared currency on speculation that the European Central Bank will intervene in the market.

The European currency rose 0.7 percent on the dollar to $1.2573 after touching a four-year low versus the dollar earlier this week. The dollar fell 0.7 percent versus the British pound to $1.4461 and was up 0.4 percent against the Japanese yen at ¥90.01. Despite Friday's losses the dollar is up more than 6 percent against the euro over the month, as shared currency has taken a hit on debt concerns. 

The euro's drop over the past month has fueled speculation about if and how European officials will intervene for the first time in 10 years.

Treasury yields bounce back

Treasurys fell Friday, erasing earlier session gains that had pushed the 10-year yield to a one-year low.

The benchmark 10-year note fell 5/32 to 102-9/32, pushing the yield up to to 3.23 percent from 3.22 percent on Thursday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. 

Earlier in the day, the 10-year note's yield fell to 3.10 percent, the lowest since May 18, 2009. The last time benchmark's yield fell below 3 percent was around the height of the credit crisis in November 2008. The 30-year bond lost 4/32 to 104-25/32 and yielded 4.10 percent, while the 5-year note shed 4/32 to 102-9/32, yielding 2.02 percent. The 2-year note edged down 3/32 to 100-15/32, yielding 0.77 percent.

Earlier in the session, worries about European debt and its impact on the global economic recovery continued to drive demand for the safety of U.S. government debt, triggering a sell-off in stocks.

CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky, Julianna Pepitone, Alexandra Twin and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Steve

    I love how CNN throws it's headlines at you 'Euro Rebounds' What? a penny and a half is a rebound? That's like reporting that our sun is going to explode, then mentioning in the text that of course that's not for another 5-6 billion years LOL

    May 22, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. john t. truth

    The Euro is about to drop another 10%, take that to the bank, literally, the Euro will drop to 90 cents on the dollar and then in December, when California has even bigger economic problems, prepare for the dollar to drop in value dramatically, then prepare for the illegal attacks on Iran.

    May 23, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
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