Stocks had another wild day, but there was no big event, no surprise announcement behind the swings.
All that happened was that the euro, battered to a four-year low Monday before trading began in the United States, started rising again. And the stock market followed the currency shared by 16 European nations.
Shortly after noon, the Dow Jones industrials were down 184 points. It looked like they would add to the pile of triple-digit losses suffered over the past two weeks as investors worried that Europe's economic problems would spread to the United States. But the euro, which seesawed after earlier falling to $1.2237, finally started its move higher - a bumpy move, but an upward one nonetheless. The Dow ratcheted higher, finally ending with an almost six-point advance.
Investors are looking at the euro as an indicator of confidence in the European economies. Analysts say a loss in confidence could make it harder for the U.S. economy to bounce back. "In all likelihood our recovery is going to continue but it will be at a slower pace than we imagined a month ago," said Howard Ward, chief investment officer of the GAMCO Growth Fund.
The Dow rose 5.67, or 0.05 percent, to 10,625.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.26, or 0.11 percent, to 1,136.94, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 7.38, or 0.31 percent, to 2,354.23. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 5.93 billion shares, compared with 6.01 billion Friday. - AP