GLOBAL MARKETS : US stocks, dollar slip on growth fears

Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:41pm GMT
 

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street wavered, oil slipped and the dollar weakened further against the euro in thin trading on Monday as major European markets were shut for Easter.

U.S. stocks were little changed, just below three-year highs, after strong first-quarter earnings. Seventy-five percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported beat analysts' expectations, just above the average of the past four quarters.

Although oil prices turned lower in choppy trade, crude's recent powerful surge is offsetting positive momentum from earnings, and as the day progresses stocks could fall, said Kevin Kruszenski, head of listed trading at KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland.

"I could see some profit-taking after the advance we've had," Kruszenski said.

A more tempered view of economic growth was taking hold across many markets.

"(There's a) fundamental bias that the data is indeed slowing and higher gas prices will take their toll on the consumer," said David Ader, senior government bond strategist at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23.61 points, or 0.19 percent, at 12,482.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.70 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,335.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.04 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,822.20.

U.S. government debt prices rose as traders banked on the idea that even as the Federal Reserve's second bond-buying program nears the end, the Fed will hold on to its portfolio and its current level of monetary accommodation for some time.   Continued...

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