May 31st, 2011
11:13 PM ET

Stocks end ugly month on a high note

Some highlights from the day's business news:

The rally in U.S. stocks regained momentum Tuesday afternoon, but the day's gains weren't enough to lift the market out of the red for the month.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged 128 points Tuesday, or 1%. All but one of the Dow's components posted gains, with Pfizer, Cisco and Alcoa leading the advance. The S&P 500 added 14 points, or 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 38 points, or 1.4%.

But the market's performance in May was the worst since August 2010. The Dow tumbled nearly 2% for the month, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost 1.3%.

May has been a rough month for the stock market as investors wrestle with signs of a slower recovery.

On Tuesday, investors sifted through yet another batch of weak U.S. economic data that showed a decline in home prices, regional manufacturing activity and consumer confidence. But optimism about a possible bailout for Greece, sparked by a Wall Street Journal article, gave stocks a boost.

Home prices: 'Double-dip' confirmed

Home prices hit another new low in the first quarter, down 5.1% from a year ago to levels not reached since 2002.

It was the third straight quarterly drop for the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which was released Tuesday.

Prices are now down 32.7% from their peak set five years ago.

"Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight," said David Blitzer, spokesman for Standard and Poor's.
The index covers 80% of the housing market, and this month's report confirmed "a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation," Blitzer said.

- CNNMoney.com's Hibah Yousuf and Les Christie contributed to this report.


Filed under: Business • Economy
soundoff (32 Responses)
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