New York: US stocks staged a comeback in late trading on Monday as bargain hunters snapped up beaten-down shares, setting aside concerns that efforts to tackle the euro-zone debt crisis could stifle the global economy.
Retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp also rose ahead of earnings later in the week. The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is expected to post a rise in profit from a year ago, though it is also expected to show it is losing shoppers as the economy improves.
“Things got a little oversold and things were getting a little overdone on the downside recently,” said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.
Shares of Wal-Mart rose 1.2% to $52.73 and Target gained 1.6% to $56.05.
The euro slid to a four-year low at one point before rebounding, helping take indexes down more than 1% earlier in the day as investors fretted that the steps some euro-zone nations are taking to cut their budgets will hinder economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 5.67 points, or 0.05%, to end at 10,625.83. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 1.26 points, or 0.11%, to 1,136.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7.38 points, or 0.31%, to close at 2,354.23.
Adding to apprehension over the still fragile recovery, a gauge of manufacturing in New York state showed growth advanced at a slower pace in May, while a Chinese leading economic indicator showed the country’s growth may have already peaked.
Oil sector slides, but builders rise
Demand worries hit commodities, including oil, which fell more than 2%, or $1.53, to settle at $70.08 a barrel. Energy companies were the S&P 500’s biggest laggards with Exxon Mobil off 0.5% at $63.27. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold lost 2.5% to $67.97, as copper prices tumbled 5.6%.
Shares of manufacturer Caterpillar, down 1.7% at $63.78, weighed on the Dow.
Shares of major US home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos fell 3.1% to $25.26 after giving a disappointing profit forecast for the year.
But the Dow Jones US home construction index reversed course to gain 0.5% after data showed that US home-builder sentiment increased in May to the highest level in more than two years.
About 10.68 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, beating last year’s estimated daily average of 9.65 billion.
Declining stocks slightly outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a ratio of 3 to 2, while on the Nasdaq, about 14 stocks fell for every 13 that rose.