* S&P 500 on track to end June lower, but positive for
* Accenture and BlackBerry both tumble after results
* Dow down 0.5 pct, S&P 500 off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
By Alison Griswold
NEW YORK, June 28 The Dow and the S&P 500
slipped on Friday as the end of the second quarter approached,
with investors finding little reason to push shares higher after
a three-day rally.
With less than an hour left in the session, only the Nasdaq
was in positive territory.
Stocks opened lower on weakness in technology shares, then
fluctuated between steep losses and moderate gains for much of
the session before flattening out. Losses in financials and tech
weighed on the market, but were partially offset by strength in
utilities and consumer discretionary shares.
Analysts said volatility has decreased as investors have
come to terms with the fact that the Federal Reserve's stimulus
program will eventually come to an end.
"It's not as volatile as it's been over the past week or two
so I think the market is actually coming to grips with the idea
that very aggressive easy money policy is not a normal state of
affairs," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist of
Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
"I think what we've been through the last week is a panic in
search of a crisis."
Volatility spiked last week after Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke suggested the stimulus could be slowed before the
end of the year if the economy is strong enough.
Following two Fed speakers who seemed to back away from
Bernanke's comments on Thursday, Fed Governor Jeremy Stein and
Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker sounded a more aggressive
tone on Friday on when the central bank's unprecedented policy
accommodation might be reduced.
Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on track to end a
seven-month winning streak, while the Dow is set to conclude a
six-month surge. So far this month, the Dow is down 0.8 percent,
the S&P 500 is down 1 percent and the Nasdaq is down 1.1
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71.48 points or
0.48 percent, to 14,953.01, the S&P 500 lost 2.77 points
or 0.17 percent, to 1,610.43 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 7.87 points or 0.23 percent, to 3,409.74.
Before Friday, the three major U.S. stock indexes had
climbed for three straight days on diminished concern that the
Federal Reserve would bring an imminent end to its $85 billion a
month in bond purchases, known as quantitative easing.
For the week, the S&P 500 is up 1.4 percent, the Dow is up
1.2 percent and the Nasdaq is up 1.7 percent.
For the second quarter, the Dow is up 2.8 percent, the S&P
500 is up 2.6 percent and the Nasdaq is up 4.5 percent.
Accenture PLC dropped 10.7 percent to $71.65, making
it the biggest drag on the S&P 500 after the company cut its
full-year outlook. The results also prompted investors to sell
some shares of competitor IBM, which fell 2.6 percent to
$190.63. IBM was the biggest drag on the Dow.
U.S.-listed shares of Research in Motion plunged
27.6 percent to $10.48 after the BlackBerry maker reported an
unexpected quarterly operating loss, a dearth of details on
sales of its make-or-break new line of devices and no return to
profit expected in the current quarter.
Arch Coal Inc gained 4.2 percent to $3.75 after the
company agreed to sell its Canyon Fuel subsidiary for $435
million in cash.
Investors can expect a volume surge at the close when
Russell Investments is expected to set the final update for the
annual reconstitution of its indexes.