Oct. 2 - Summary of business headlines: Wall Street ends mixed with investors unsure if Spain is heading for a bailout request this weekend; Deutsche Telekom looking for new U.S. hook-up; U.S. auto sales top forecasts. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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The Dow hasn't been able to put together back-to-back gains since mid-September as worries about Europe creep back in.
Blue chips fell, but the S&P 500 inched ahead for a second day and the Nasdaq barely snapped a two-day loss.
Wireless stocks were active on talk of a pending deal. Deutsche Telekom confirms it is looking to combine its T-Mobile USA operations with MetroPCS. Deutsche Telekom warns a deal may not get done. MetroPCS would not confirm such talks, but shares surged almost 18 percent. Sprint, which would be vulnerable if a deal was reached, lost more than 5 percent.
Auto sales in the U.S. topped analysts' forecasts in September. Improving consumer confidence, better credit terms, and some good deals proved too good for buyers to overlook. TrueCar.com says transaction prices dipped slightly last month for Detroit's Big Three, but steady for Honda, which was near the top of the pack in terms of sales. Toyota's sales rose the most - up more than 41 percent compared to a year ago.
Turning to Europe: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy jokingly responded to a leak Spain will officially seek a bailout this weekend.
SOUNDBITE: SPANISH PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY (SPANISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING:
"If there is an agency or someone that says we will request a bailout this weekend, as they report, well there are two possibilities: that the agency is right and has better information than I do, which is possible, or that it is not the case, in which it may also be possible or not. But who knows. If what I have to say is of any use to you, and what I have to say is more important than that leak, I will say, 'No." But you can believe what is more fitting and convenient because you may be on target."
Major markets closed softer before his comments, as investors try to guess if Spain will or will not seek help before a debt crisis gets worse.
Conway Gittens, Reuters
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