May 23, 2012 / 9:35 PM / 7 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St finishes flat in late reversal

* Euro-zone officials agree to prep for Greek exit scenario
    * Dell revenue outlook weighs on sentiment
    * Facebook shares rebound despite lawsuit
    * Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq gained 0.4 pct


    By Edward Krudy	
    NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks staged a late-day
reversal on Wednesday, rallying into the close in another
volatile session as a sharp rise in materials shares boosted the
S&P 500 and gains in Apple helped lift the Nasdaq.	
    The action shortly before the market's close was a mirror
image of Tuesday when stocks gave up gains in the last minutes
of trading. The late rebound suggested investors saw value in
the market after the S&P 500 fell just below 1,300 but also
underscored the skittishness of the trading environment.	
    One trader warned not to read too much into the move that
lifted the indexes near breakeven for the day. 	
    "I don't make anything of this. Volumes are very low, so
there's no conviction," said Todd Schoenberger, managing
principal at the BlackBay Group in New York. "We're only hearing
what we want to hear. Don't be surprised if futures are
disappointed tomorrow."	
    Towards the close traders cited rumors that the European
Union was considering a proposal to guarantee bank deposits
across the bloc. Such a move could assuage fears of bank runs in
Spain and Greece. The rumors, which one trader said may have
originated in London, appeared to be unfounded and served to
highlight the markets' current sensitivity to events in Europe.	
    Shares in beaten-down materials companies led the S&P 500,
with the S&P's materials sector gaining 1.1 percent. Alpha
Natural Resources rose 5 percent to $11.70. Boosting the
Nasdaq were shares of Apple, up 2.4 percent to $570.56.	
    In the overall market, the Dow Jones industrial average
 dipped 6.66 points, or 0.05 percent, to 12,496.15. The
S&P 500 Index edged up 2.23 points, or 0.17 percent, to
1,318.86. The Nasdaq Composite gained 11.04 points, or
0.39 percent, to 2,850.12. 	
    For most of the day shares fell by more than 1 percent as EU
officials said euro zone countries must prepare contingency
plans for a possible Greek exit of the currency bloc, while a
weak outlook from Dell Inc cast doubts about the
strength of global tech spending.	
    Volume on the NYSE, Nasdaq and Amex was above average.
Around 7.52 billion shares traded compared with a year-to-date
average of 6.84 billion. About three stocks rose for every two
that fell on the NYSE.	
    Shares in Dell Inc tumbled more than 18 percent and
hit other tech stocks as the revenue forecast from the
third-largest computer maker spurred fears that global tech
spending was declining faster than thought.	
    Dell plunged 17.2 percent to $12.49, its biggest one-day
drop in more than a decade. 	
    Hewlett-Packard slid more than 3 percent during the
regular session. But shares of the tech company jumped 10
percent in extended trading after it released financial results.
HP outlined a multi-year plan including job cuts of 27,000
employees, or about 8 percent of its workforce, to spur growth.	
    The agreement by euro-zone officials on contingency planning
for a Greek exit of the euro zone, or "Grexit" as some investors
are now calling it, came during a teleconference of the
Eurogroup Working Group on Monday, sources told
Reuters. 	
    Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment
Management in Chicago, said renewed concerns about Greece,
troubling outlooks from Dell and others, worries about the
economy, Facebook's disappointing IPO and JPMorgan's recent
trading loss were adding up to significant headwinds. 	
    "It has made people less likely to jump in there and buy
stocks," he said. "A lack of good news, some bad news and these
worries that have been around for a long time make it hard to
get a rally going."	
    The S&P 500 is down 7 percent from a peak in April but is up
4.9 percent for the year so far. Some analysts are expecting the
index to test its 200-day moving average at around 1,280,
another 2 percent below current levels.	
    Facebook Inc and banks, including Morgan Stanley
, were sued by the social networking leader's
shareholders, who claimed the defendants hid Facebook's weakened
growth forecasts ahead of its $16 billion initial public
offering. The stock was up 3.2 percent at $32 after falling more
than 30 percent from it peak on Friday. 	
    Falling oil prices also depressed the energy sector, with an
S&P index of energy companies edging up 0.4 percent into
the close.	
    U.S. July crude oil future fell $2.30 to a session
low of $89.55, trading below $90 a barrel for the first time
since Nov. 1, on easing concerns about Iran's nuclear dispute
with the West and increasing worries about global economic
growth.
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