May 20, 2013
Global stocks finish mostly flat
US stocks ended flat Tuesday after fluctuating between small gains and losses in a light-volume session, as investors took a breather following a 5 percent rally last week.
The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 2.65 points, or 0.02 percent, to 12,291.35 at the close. But the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up 0.10 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 1,265.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.56 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 2,625.20.
For the year, the Dow is up 6.2 percent and the Nasdaq is down 1 percent. The S&P's performance is turning out to be the flattest in more than 40 years. The index is up less than 1 percent, its smallest move in either direction since 1970.
European shares steadied on Tuesday in low volume as last week's tentative rally petered out, with Italian banking stocks hit after the country's bond yields rose on worries that thin liquidity would weigh on an Italian sovereign debt auction on Thursday.
The Italian market was the worst-performing exchange, down 1 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed up 0.04 percent at 990.35 points after gaining 3.4 percent in the previous week helped by positive US data.Japan's Nikkei average dropped below a key support level in holiday-thinned trade, on track for a flat performance in December and double-digit losses for the year.
The Nikkei ended the day 0.5 percent lower at 8,440.56, under its 25-day moving average around 8,461 after managing to break above it on Monday.