US stocks mixed

US stocks mixed

Wall Street pulled off its lows to finish narrowly mixed today as investors squared concerns about rising oil prices with a surprise jump in home construction.

The major indexes ended the week with big gains.

Wall Street, hoping for an economic rebound in the second half of the year, has been searching for any signs that the housing market is bottoming.

The Commerce Department's report that home construction jumped 8.2% in April came as welcome news.

But investors still appeared concerned for much of the session about energy prices and their effect on consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity.

The price of a barrel of oil spiked to US$127.82 for a new trading record today.

The rise in energy and food costs is weighing on the mood of consumers. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for May fell to 59.5 in May - the weakest reading since June 1980.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 5.86, or 0.05 percent, to 12,986.80.

Broader stock indicators ended mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index ticked up 1.78, or 0.13%, to 1,425.35, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 4.88, or 0.19%, to 2,528.85.

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