A Nosedive Eases a Bit in Volatile U.S. Trading - Business

Disorders of the European debt and signs of a sluggish economy in the United States have shaken investors for months, and Thursday was no different. Stocks fell early, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average down nearly 2 percent before rallying new hope for a Greek austerity plan.

The session saw-toothed and slightly lower at the close of stock to investors generally reported sluggish jumping title for title as they sought clarity. Volatility also reported other changes in sentiment, led by stocks with a clear direction on Friday. After posting losses for six of the last seven weeks, the Standard Poor & 500-stock index was showing a weekly gain of almost 1 percent to close Thursday. It just fell nearly 6 percent since the end of April.

"The situation in Greece was a dark ominous cloud hanging over the markets," said Lawrence R. Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.

"We are in uncertain times, everyone knows it and that creates volatility, but also opportunity."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.67 points, or 0.49 percent, to 12,050 on Thursday. Fr S.& 500 fell 3.64 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,283.50 and the Nasdaq composite rose 17.56 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,686.75.

Greece's debt problems have hit the market for weeks with concerns about contagion to other countries in the euro area and its effects on banks.

At the same time, recent economic data served as a reminder of the challenges to the economy of the United States, including a slowdown in hiring in May and a housing sector that is still trying to recover.

The seesaw in stocks began shortly after the opening, while the Dow, less than two hours in the trade, fell 234.73 points, or 1.9 percent, its low 11,874.94 intraday.

Analysts offered a range of reasons for the crisis, starting with the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy was not growing as fast as expected and that it would complete the purchase of $ 600 billion in securities Treasury next week, then a pause.

Wednesday evening, Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, said the link between the debt problem and Greek banks was "the greatest threat" to financial stability in the European Union, according to Bloomberg News.

Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment rose by 9000 to 429,000 last week, according to seasonally adjusted figures. The four-week average movement was unchanged at 426,000.

Stanley A. Nabi, the chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management Group, said problems of debt in Europe were only one factor affecting the market Thursday. "I think the decline is significantly related to the Fed have lowered economic expectations for the coming quarters," he said. "And then the employment data that came out this morning was not particularly robust."

To add to the uncertainty, some analysts said, was the announcement International Energy Agency that the United States provides half of the 60 million barrels of oil reserves to be released to global markets, with other nations releasing the rest. The action is intended to replace a portion of oil production lost because of the conflict in Libya.

"It shocked the market," said Doug Cote, the chief strategist for ING Investment Management market. "It looks like thinly veiled stimulus," he said. "The big question hanging over the market is why now? "

But other analysts said the announcement suggested oil consumers could get relief at the pump, and sovereign debt and most economic issues, including talks faltering U.S. federal budget, are blame for pushing stocks lower.

News at the end of the day that Greece had achieved a certain approval for austerity measures helped the index recover.

"It was a kind of rock running on the last hour," said Stephen J. Carl, head equity trader at Williams Capital Group.

"It was almost an hour's 11th save," said Mr. Creatura.

European markets were down. The FTSE 100 in London fell 1.71 percent Thursday, while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 2.16 percent and the DAX in Germany fell 1.77 percent.

"Investors are concerned about the very things that have been worried in recent months," said Adrian Darley, head of European equities at Ignis Asset Management in London. "This is the weak U.S. data, a consensus of overheating in China and concerns about Europe. The Greek situation is still unresolved and the markets will remain very nervous. "

The 10-year Treasury note rose 18/32, to 101 26/32. The yield fell to 2.91 percent from 2.98 percent late Wednesday.

The energy and bank stocks in down nearly 2 percent. Stocks air, sensitive to oil prices, has increased. Exxon Mobil was down 1.73 percent, to $ 78.44. Chevron fell 1.69 percent, to $ 99.36. Marathon Oil fell 2.22 percent, to $ 51.62.