U.S. stocks tallied slight losses Friday with Wall Street on shaky ground ahead of consumer-confidence data and on European uncertainty ahead of the long U.S. holiday weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24 points to 12,505. The S&P 500 Index rose a point to 1,322. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4 points to 2,843. A quiet day ahead of a long weekend. On the earnings front, Frontline and Verifone Systems are lower on disappointing earnings. The diamond today is Tempur-Pedic up 6% on strong April sales. All the mattress stocks are trading higher. In fact, the retail space has been on fire. A better than expected consumer sentiment number out at 10 o'clock verified such results. The broader market continues to struggle. In the tech space Apple and Google are trading lower. NetApp is lower on a downgrade. Salesforce.com, Nviida, EMC, and ARM Holdings are modestly higher on upgrades. The financials are quiet this morning. JP Morgan is the weakest big banks. Not a great number of weeks for the tarnished bank. Materials and industrials are the weakest sectors. Energy is trying to hold up. Agrium is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower on weakness in the Euro. All eyes are on Europe. All the major averages over there are down over 10% with the Spanish Index down 25%, Italy's down 21%, Portugal down 17%, and the Greek Index is down 38% since February and down 80% in the last three years. Not good. Through the morning the averages remained stuck in the red, but not by much. On light volume days the averages move with the currencies. When the Euro drops and the US Dollar rises, the major averages decline. Expect more of this in the future. In the afternoon the averages remained in the red. IBM, Google, and Apple are particularly weak. Industrials, materials, and transports remain weak as well. In the last hour the averages pushed lower with the Dow falling over 100 points only to recover into the close. Short covering? The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 74 points at 12,454, leaving it 0.7% higher for the week, the first up week for May. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,317, giving it a 1.7% rise from the week-ago close. The Nasdaq Composite shed a point to 2,837, but rallying 1.7% on the week.
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