The Week on Wall Street: Speed Bump
Stocks ended the week slightly lower as economic data and worries of a near-term pullback kept buyers out of the market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week with a loss of 0.4%, its first decline since March, the S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week just below the unchanged mark.
The markets started the week mixed on Monday despite a busy day of mergers-and- acquisitions activity.
General Electric said it agreed to sell its plastics business to Saudi Basic Industries for $11.6 billion in cash. GE is the parent company of CNBC.
Alltel, the fifth-largest wireless services provider in the United States, said late Sunday it will be acquired by TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs unit GS Capital for almost $28 billion.
On Tuesday, the markets failed to sustain a midday rally and the major markets ended mixed.
"It's indicative of the late stages of a bull market," said Tom Schrader, head of U.S. listed trading at Stifel Nicolaus. "We've had a tremendous move, and it's time for us to have a little pause or a pullback of about 3% to 5% in the market."
Shares of gaming companies rose after billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's firm Tracinda said it would explore strategic options for its majority stake in MGM Mirageand enter talks to purchase the company's Bellagio Hotel and CityCenter properties.
Intel rose 1.6% after the chip bellwether said itwas combining its NOR flash memory card business with European chipmaker STMicroelectronics and a private equity firm.
On Thursday, stocks closed broadly lower after strong economic data lowered the odds of a near-term cut in interest rates, while tech stocks fell following earnings warnings.
Dell plans to sell low-priced desktop computers at more than 3,500 North American stores operated by Wal-Mart Stores , the world's largest retailer said on Thursday. The struggling computer maker is moving beyond its longstanding direct sales business model as it fights to win back market share from Hewlett-Packard.
Stocks recovered somewhat on Friday on more M&A news, while tech stocks rebounded from Thursday's swoon.