Dow and S&P Indices Inch up on Mixed Signals from Europe

October 21 00:00 2011

New York, October 21 ( – Mixed signals from Europe created confused reactions to stocks which also finished mixed on Thursday. The news from Europe stirred up volatility and eclipsed early optimism about a surprise positive trend in US regional manufacturing.

After trading down earlier by some 110 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points, or 0.3%, to close at 11,542. The S&P 500 also sprang out of negativity and settled up 6 points, or 0.5%, at 1215. The Nasdaq lagged behind and pared losses while losing 5 points, or 0.2%, at 2599 by the close.

A summit of European lawmakers had been planned for Sunday where they were expected to find a solution to the debt crisis. However, speculation swirled earlier in the day that this summit might be delayed. Later French president Nikolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement that a plan would be formulated by next Wednesday. Stocks rebound in the afternoon when the announcement was made.

The CBOE Volatility Index rose 0.7% to a reading of 35, after jumping above 30 at the beginning of the week. 21 out of 30 components within the index posted gains whereas technology stocks plunged with Intel being the worst performer losing nearly 3%. Metal prices retracted Thursday with gold shedding $34.10 and copper plunging about 6%.