Stock market manages slight gain after choppy day

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm •  Published: May 16, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Better results from retailers and demand for telecommunications shares helped push the stock market to a small gain on Friday.

Telecoms rose the most among the 10 industries in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Their jump followed news that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made a new investment in Verizon Communications. Other big-name investors, including John Paulson, also reportedly took stakes. Verizon climbed $1.11, or 2 percent, to $49.07.

Major indexes spent much of the day meandering around the breakeven mark. Stocks started higher at the open but reversed course after a report on consumer confidence showed a drop last month. The market took a sudden turn up in the last hour of trading, turning minor losses into minor gains.

"We've had a lot of starts and stops recently," said Dan Cook, a director at Nadex, an exchange in Chicago. "We're at high levels, so it's a time to be cautious."

The S&P 500 index gained 7.01 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,877.86.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 16,491.31. The Nasdaq composite index rose 21.30 points, or 0.5 percent, to finish at 4,090.59.

Investors said the choppy trading reflects a larger uncertainty. The stock market is trading near record highs, but investors see little reason for excitement. Earlier in the week, the S&P 500 index notched all-time highs two days in a row. On Thursday, mixed economic news and a weak earnings report from Wal-Mart Stores drove the market to its worst day in more than a month.