US STOCKS-S&P 500 flat, on track to close slightly lower on week

Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:01pm EDT

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By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were flat on Friday, pointing to a week of modest losses as recent data painted a mixed picture of economic growth, though Wall Street's 2014 rally was expected to continue into the second half of the year.

The S&P 500 was 0.3 percent away from a record closing high hit last week, but breaking decisively above that level may be difficult amid a dearth of catalysts. Still, with the second quarter nearing a close, the S&P 500 is up about 5.9 percent year-to-date.

U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final June reading, though that follows weak reads on consumer spending and first-quarter economic activity earlier this week.

Nike Inc rose 1.6 percent to $78.15 a day after its fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations. However, those gains were offset on the Dow index as DuPont , a fellow component, cut its full-year operating profit outlook, sending shares down 4.3 percent to $64.81.

"The market is listless with earnings and data coming in mixed, but stocks in general continue to look attractive relative to bonds, and we're fairly priced from a historical perspective," said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors in New York. "That should be enough to continue driving buyers, even with disappointing news."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26.54 points, or 0.16 percent, to 16,819.59, the S&P 500 lost 0.59 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,956.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.83 points, or 0.16 percent, to 4,385.88.

For the week, the Dow is down 0.8 percent and the S&P is down 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq, which is up 0.4 percent, is on track for its sixth weekly rise out of the past seven. The CBOE Volatility index is up 7.6 percent this week.

Trading volume has been below average of late, but that is not expected to hold true on Friday, which could see heavy action going into the close as Russell Investments announces the final reconstitution of its indexes, which will affect more than $5 trillion in assets.

In company news, Relational Investors LLC late Thursday disclosed an 8.52 percent stake in Manitowoc Co Inc and said it would separate it into two companies. Shares of Manitowoc jumped 8.6 percent to $32.26 on heavy trading.

Keurig Green Mountain Inc rose 4.6 percent to $126.03 as the S&P's biggest gainer after Argus Research upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold."

On the downside, Dollar General Corp was the S&P 500's biggest decliner, off 6.9 percent to $57.40 after the company's chief executive announced his retirement effective next May. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

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