US stocks ended little changed yesterday, paring gains after the Dow topped 13,000 for the first time since May 2008, and as higher oil prices damped prospects for the economy.
Greece’s securing of a bailout to avoid a disorderly default provided some support to stocks, but investors said the news had mostly been priced in to the market.
Fresh highs in oil prices gave investors a reason to sell. US crude futures rose 2.5 per cent to a nine-month high of $105.84 a barrel on Iran supply worries.
Since the start of the year, signs of improvement in the economy and stabilization of Europe’s debt crisis have driven the Dow up 6.1 per cent, while the S&P has climbed 8.3 per cent.
Yesterday the Dow Jones industrial average finished up 15.82 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 12,965.69, after briefly climbing above the psychologically important 13,000.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.98 point, or 0.07 per cent, at 1,362.21. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.21 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 2,948.57.
Wal-Mart shares fell 3.9 per cent to $60.07, erasing most of the stock’s gains so far in 2012, after its quarterly profit came in short of expectations.