Stocks eked out a gain Thursday after some late-session turbulence, led by techs. Energy stocks rebounded from the bottom of the pack to the No. 2 behind tech. Financials ended lower.
Economic data were a mixed bag: The services sector grew for a fifth straight month but the report wasn't a blowout. Stocks had opened higher after a pair of encouraging employment reports.
Energy and financials have swung between positive and negative territory in the past few sessions, taking the broader market with them. Both had been lower for most of the day but energy turned higher in late trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up about five points, or less than a tenth of a percent, in the market's first two-day gain since April.
The S&P 500rose 0.2 percentand the Nasdaqjumped 1 percent. The CBOE volatility indexwas below 30 at the closing bell.
Microsoft and Cisco were the Dow's best performers. The biggest drags were Home Depot , DuPont and JPMorgan .
Stocks saw their third best day of the yearWednesday, thanks to a late-session rally, with each of the three major indexes ending more than 2 percent higher, led by energy and financials after better-than-expected housing data boosted investor sentiment.
“Yesterday’s rally was a short-term pause in a pre-established downtrend,” said Tom Schrader, managing director for U.S. equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus. “We’re seeing weakness in euro/dollar, which is not good for equities, and continued speculation on the European banking community and economy.”
Stocks may fall another 5 percent during these summer months, Schrader added.
There’s also speculation that the Swiss banking community may not be supporting the euro as they have in the past, he added.
The dollar rose against the eurowhile credit spreads tightened, with three-month Libor rising to 0.53781 percent and the Ted spread , or the difference between Libor and the three-month Treasury note, increasing to 0.4008 percent.
Oil prices rose toward $74 a barrel after U.S. government data showed crude and gasoline stocks had fallen more than expectedlast week. And gold fell near $1,200 an ounce.
Gold miners took a hit as shares of Barrick Gold , Newmont Mining and AngloGold each dropped more than 2 percent.