Wall St surrenders gains as Moody’s cuts Greece

US STOCKS ended little changed in a low-volume session yesterday after a downgrade of Greece’s debt took the wind out of the market’s sails.

Equities have been sensitive to debt problems in Greece and other European nations in recent months on concerns the Eurozone’s fiscal problems will hamper a global economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 20.18 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 10,190.89. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 1.97 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 1,089.63. But the Nasdaq Composite Index inched up just 0.36 of a point, or 0.02 per cent, to 2,243.96.

Earlier, the S&P 500 was up as much as 1.3 per cent, breaking through the psychologically important 1,100 level and brushing up against its 200-day moving average at 1,107.95.

US crude oil futures prices rose 1.8 per cent, or $1.34, to settle at $75.12 a barrel, in
response to optimism about the global recovery that was stirred by the European
industrial production data.

About 7.87bn shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, sharply below last year.