Dow up 43, breaks 6-week losing streak

Traders hope a deal is near to ease the Greek debt crisis. But energy and tech stocks sag. Research In Motion shares are crushed. Apple is down for 2011. Oil hits a 4-month low.

By Charley Blaine Jun 17, 2011 1:17PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7 p.m. ET

Stocks finished the week mostly higher as investors seemed to conclude that, for now, the Greek debt situation may be easing enough to warrant some buying.

But the picture was not uniform. Tech stocks struggled, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) is now down 1.4% for the year. Shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) plunged 21.5% to $27.75 after a disastrous earnings report. Apple (AAPL), off 1.5% to $320.26, is now down for the year, and Google (GOOG) fell 3.1% and ended at $485.02, its first close below $500 since September.

Energy shares also were weak after crude oil (-CL) fell to $93.01 a barrel, a four-month low.

The market's early cheer came as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou shuffled his Cabinet in a bid to placate critics of the government's austerity plans. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed off demands that bondholders share some of the burden of a Greek bailout.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed up 43 points to 12,004. The blue chips, however, had been up as many as 112 points, then saw the gain fall to as few as 24 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) added 4 points to 1,272, but the Nasdaq was off 7 points to 2,616.

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Thanks to the better news on Greece, financial stocks are among the top performers in the U.S. market. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was up 1.1% to $40.80. U.S. shares of French banks BNP Paribas (BNPQY), Credit Agricole (CRARY) and Societe Generale (SCGLY) were all up more than 3%. The trio were cited for possible downgrade this week by Moody's.

The Dow and the S&P 500 ended the week with small gains after six straight weeks of declines. The Nasdaq fell 1%, its sixth weekly loss in seven weeks.

The Dow is up 3.7% for the year, with the S&P 500 up just 1%. The Nasdaq had been up as much as 8.3% on April 29 but has fallen 9% since.

Gasoline is off 7.8% since May 5
Gold settled up $9.20 to $1,539.10 an ounce. While crude in New York is down more than 6% this week, gold is up 0.7%.

Mirroring the decline of crude oil in New York, Brent crude in London was off 77 cents to $113.25 at 4:15 p.m. ET.

The national average retail price of gasoline was $3.675 a gallon, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, down from Thursday's $3.685 and off 7.8% from the May 5 peak of $3.985 a gallon. Gasoline is down 2.8% for the month but up 19.6% for the year. Only Alaska and Hawaii are seeing average unleaded prices above $4 a gallon.

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Germany blinks on Greece
The Greek situation took a turn for the better when Germany backed off its demand that bondholders take some of the hit from having to rescue Greece again.

The situation grew very grave this week when protesters hit the streets in Athens, and several members of Papandreou's Socialist party quit in protest of the austerity plans. The yield on Greece’s 2-year bond topped 30% for the first time Thursday in response. (Yes, you're reading 30% right.)  The cost of insuring Greek debt rose to an all-time high.

The Guardian newspaper in London reported today that the German about-face was prompted by threats from the International Monetary Fund to withhold urgently needed funds and trigger a Greek default unless Berlin pledged firmly that it would come to Greece's rescue.

France opposed the Germans in part because a Greek default of more than $400 billion in debt might threaten the solvency of major French banks.

At the same time, Evangelos Venizelos became Greece's finance minister today and is believed to have the skills necessary to convince his countrymen to accept new austerity measures. Greece's parliament is supposed to vote on the plan and perhaps a vote of confidence this weekend.

German and British stocks were higher today.

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A mostly good day for U.S. stocks
Thanks to Greece, stocks were mostly higher. Investors, in fact, were shrugging off news that the IMF had cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth on Friday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are "playing with fire" unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits.

Twenty-three of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, led by AT&T (T), up 1.1% to $30.77, and Microsoft (MSFT), up 1.1% to $24.26, respectively. McDonald's (MCD), up 0.9% to $82.52, hit an all-time high of $83.08 during the session. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)

Intel (INTC) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) were the Dow laggards, down 1.1% to $21.19 and 0.5% to $14.97, respectively.

Forty-seven stocks in the Nasdaq-100 ($NDX.X), which tracks the largest Nasdaq stocks, were higher. But the index was down 7 points to 2,194 and is off 1.1% on the year.

The Nasdaq-100's decline was mostly due to Research In Motion's big loss and the declines for Apple and Google. Research In Motion fell after fiscal-first-quarter revenue was short of estimates and its forecast worse.

Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry device, is struggling against intense competition from Apple's iPhone and devices using Google's Android platform. Apple and Google were  getting no benefit from Research In Motion's woes, however.

Credit-rating companies declined after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering filing civil fraud charges against some of the firms for their actions on mortgage-backed bonds, which helped trigger the financial crisis.

Moody's (MCO) dropped 5% to $36.35 for the biggest loss in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. McGraw-Hill (MHP) retreated 3.6% to $39.61.

BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) saw a 4.1% gain fade to a 0.8% loss to $47.50. Shareholders Leonard Green & Partners and CVC International made a proposal to buy the third-largest U.S. warehouse-club chain. Details of the bid, made on Thursday, were not disclosed.

Oh, those IPO stocks
Wall Street may be frothing over the fees it may get from the host of companies going public, but this week may temper their enthusiasm.

Pandora Media (P), the Internet radio service, went public at $16. The shares opened for trading at $20 and soared to $26. Today, however, they fell to as low as $12.16 before, finally, the shares found buyers. The shares ended up 1.1% to $13.40. Still, the shares ended the week off 16.3% from the IPO price. The shares are even getting "sell" ratings.

Meanwhile, Bankrate (RATE) went public late Thursday at $15 and started trading today with an open at $14. But the shares fell to as low as $13.81 before rallying back to $15.34, up 2.3% from the IPO price.

The volatility reflects a lot of worry. "People are scared of losing money like they did on Pandora," Josef Schuster, founder of Chicago-based IPO research and investment house IPOX Schuster, told Reuters.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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Jun 17, 2011 2:36PM
I can remember the time, growing up as a young boy in the 60's and early 70's where you could still count on people being somewhat "honest". Where you could look another peson in the eye and be pretty sure they were telling you the truth. Though it has never been perfect, even the politicians of those days were somewhat honorable. A bank was there to help young families buy a home, start a new business, and the stock market was actually a somewhat honest entity, where you could invest money, knowing things were mostly on the up and up. Fast forward to the 2000's until now. People are corrupt, liars FAR out number honest people, banks are out to screw you over, politicians are CROOKS, and wall street/banking by career criminals like bernake and geithner are nothing more than a new take on the old carnival "shell game". WE need look no further than an old "prototype" of America...Rome, to see exactly where we are, and where we are heading. Everything Rome did to become a Nation in ruin, we have either done, or are in the process of doing. If America does not WAKE UP, we will soon find ourselves on the bottom, looking up, and wondering..."how did we get here"...
Jun 17, 2011 2:26PM
Blaming Obama for everything may be childish, but blaming him for nothing is stupid!
Jun 17, 2011 2:05PM
Its called manipulation. There was a time when the guy on the floor or the average citizen thought he had a chance of making it big. That dreams do come true in the USA. Now its a stacked deck with the elite calling the shots behind closed doors. The little man doesn't have a chance at that dream anymore due to insider trading or manipulation by those holding huge amounts of stock.
Its all just rigged carnival game now and your on the outside of the circle.

Jun 17, 2011 5:06PM
CryingAngryThe problem folks is our GOVERNMENT. We have nothing but crooks running our world today. Noone seems to be honest and doesn't give a damn about our country anymore. Time will only tell what will happen and where were heading. Not only is our Government corrupted but our Government should be helping us, not destroying us. It turns out we can't even depend on our own government to help us, when we are in need of major help.
Jun 17, 2011 5:26PM

Energy shares also were weak after crude oil fell to $93.01 a barrel, a four-month low.


Hurray! Now we can afford to go see Dad for Fathers Day! Yippeeee!!!!!! Auto 

Jun 17, 2011 3:22PM

This is not brain surgery people, when manipulators are in complete charge down here we go down, that's their game, that's how they make their money, by cheating others. Yes, we were up over 100 points earlier but then they called to start the selloff and now we are fighting just to stay in the green...We could be up 100, 200, 300, does not matter, when these scumbags start doing their thing down we go. Who are they going to blame it on today? Who cares, doesn't matter. What matters is that manipulators, cheaters, keep bringing this market down. It has absolutely nothing to do with fundamentals. Oh well...More after the close.




Jun 17, 2011 3:19PM

I do credit The Street for one thing.

Their cunning ability to keep the chumps in the game.

These guys have been livin' large off of OPM for so long, they have refined fraud to an artform.


Jun 17, 2011 7:00PM

When a government writes special treaties and gives tax breaks to public owned corporations to aid them in outsourcing for slave labor you know that government is owned. Banks wall street and big corporations run America and they are destroying our country. Record profits are being made and corporate taxes actually paid are record low.

   Our capital gains tax where most giant money is made is only 15%. Our 4 biggest banks have 8 trillion in assets and still get billions in 0% loans to play the market and make foreign investments. Anyone who claims this government is anti-business must be from some other planet.

    Our middle class is declining, poverty is growing and the top 1 or 2% take more and more. All we need is for the burden of deficit reduction to go on the struggling people and we will soon be in depression and chaos. Our corrupt financial and corporate systems are a disgrace to America and the human race. There is nothing they want do and there is practically no restraints on them.

    When the CEO of Disney made 600 million in salary and God knows what in bonuses he had children working in Haiti for 12 cents an hour. No half liberal government would allow this much help the pigs. Millions of jobs would have been saved just by forcing public owned corporations to pay our minimum wages wherever the go. There are many obvious things that could be done and are not.

   In short an insane and deadly greed is destroying our country. Banks, wall street, big corporations and their government are united and they know exactly what they want. "Everything!" We will come together as a people against this evil foursome or we will lose badly and there will be no winners. Greed is never satisfied it is like a monster that devours everything and eventually eats it's own tail.

Jun 17, 2011 5:57PM
I am truly amazed that the retail price of Gasoline always lands on 9/10 of a cent. Americans are either total suckers for the "999" gimic, or business thinks we are, or both. So how much difference does .1 cents really make to consumers paying $3.89.9 cents a gallon? Bet .1 cents worth of fuel evaporates every time a gas cap is opened. I am so glad tickets to Disney Land are only $139.99 and not $140; whew, I can still afford to go...
Jun 17, 2011 6:04PM
This didn't end a losing streak. The stocks only gain when you go over a high. Stocks were still down for the week!! Wall Street math at play again!
Pretty the US and world economy are headed towards complete collapse.

1) US is already in technical default of it's debt as we have been borrowing since Clinton's brief surplus. Deficit is borrowed money to run the government on, plus interest on the national debt. Ever wonder why the national debt has been going up quicker than just adding the deficit to it??? Republicans want to cut taxes and Democrats want to increase spending. The deficit reduction bill is going to be one of lower taxes for the super rich and more spending for the poor and unemployed. This will make our deficit even larger. Don't believe it? In the 1980's the House wanted to build like 8 more F-16 jet fighters and the Senate wanted to build 12 more. The Compromise was to build 24 more. I see tax cuts of $5 trillion for rich and $5 trillion increase in aid to poor and unemployed citizens being voted in before Aug 2.

2) The US stock market has three powerful forces operating on it that will see to it's meltdown soon. The first wave of 10,000,000 baby boomers have almost retired now and are taking out $30,000 to $50,000 out of the stock market instead of putting in $5 to $8 thousand a year. There are 18,000,000 workers laid off from $50,000 to $120,000 jobs that are not contributing anymore to the stock market thru their 401k pension plans and 1/3 of them are raiding their 301K pension plan ATM machine as their home ATM machine is broken now. Lastly 90 percent of all jobs produced since the crash have been minimum wage jobs and they are not putting anything into the stock market. And we have ten more years of this happening ahead of us. The DOW is going to be lucky to be at 2,000 by 2021. 

3) Greece is going to default Germany is not going to fund anymore money to them and the banks will not take a hair cut. In the mean while the Greek government will fall into the trash bin of history like the middle east governments have been and the new Greek government will say the past government's bill are not their doing.

4) China will have massive problems as workers starve to death due to lack of food at affordable prices. They are already rioting and the food crunch is yet to happen. Plus the workers will not have wives to keep them calm as the one child per family rule means 80 percent of young Chinese workers are male. Which given the Communist Party stand on gays is sure to be a whole other problem soon. 

5) Europe is in recession and they have broke economies trying to bail out other broke economies like Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy which will force France, Germany to declare bankruptcy.

6) Australia is in recession and has no food to sell to China right now. 

7) Russia's spring wheat crop is looking good after no harvest for the winter but they will not have enough to sell to China to keep those billions from starving.

8) The middle east is about ready to go up in smoke as Syria will keep killing it's rebellious population and sooner or later NATO will attack them at which time they will attack Israel and then as the nuclear glow dies down in Damascus from Israeli nukes the other Arab nations will launch attacks against Israel forcing the US to nuke the Arabs and there goes our oil. 

9) Did I mention the state and local government workers choosing retirement before their benefits are reduced by the millions adding to the pull out of money from the Stock market as the states and local government sell assets to pay pensions to those workers. 

10) there is a lot more bad news out there mostly that Bernanke has said he will not bail out the economy if and when things turn south. Well they are pretty much headed due South right now folks.

Jun 17, 2011 2:52PM
Mr. Gloom and Doom here, just reminding everyone that I warned you and told you so. But who ever listens to me? I just love to post and see all those thumbs down on my pessimistic, yet realistic gloom and doom posts I receive. Wink All the Greedy sheeple wear their blinders straight to the slaughter house. Black Sheep The Vultures love feasting on the blind sheeple. Vampire bat
Plus what is the down side of raiding your matched fund 401k pension plan. So you have to pay a 20 percent tax on the money and a 10 percent early withdrawal penality. You got 50 percent matching funds from your employer so you are still 20 percent ahead of the game. 

And as you can tell your balance is not growing at the 8 percent return they promised you in HR. 

In fact most 401k pension plans are barely getting back to where they were in 2001. 
Jun 17, 2011 3:35PM

I just love all the gloom and doom stories around the world. The more gloom and doom, the better! I'll have another brandy and coke please! Martini glass

Jun 17, 2011 3:02PM
This weekend's dream headline:  OBAMA PLAYS WITH BOEHNER
Jun 17, 2011 6:36PM

SadI just want to say thanks to our government, a lot of our dreams will never become a reality thanks to them. It is unfair we have to suffer the consequences and mistakes they have made. If anyone should be held responsible and accountable it should by ALL MEANS BE THEM. I am in complete awh how the government put us in this mess and now we have to pay the price for their mistakes. What this means is we have to bust our asses to work like dogs just to make a living. We need to eliminate all the crooks, once and for all. Period!!! Question is how do we do that without making the same mistakes again and getting the right people to take over the wheel and head us in the right direction.

Jun 17, 2011 4:29PM
Jun 17, 2011 3:02PM
Now that Weiner is no longer in the good old boys club. He can throw some of the rest under the bus.
Jun 17, 2011 4:26PM
So LostOnEarth, why is gloom and doom good?  Why the more the better?  Are you short selling?  Have you been sitting on the sidelines for three years?  If not, your comment makes no sense.
Jun 17, 2011 7:34PM
LOST old friend, I would cut back on the caffeine and sugar for a while.  I admire your spunk , though. 
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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