Stocks finished mixed in another thin, choppy session Friday, as investors were reluctant to commit to the market ahead of the weekend and amid ongoing nervousness over the debt talks in Europe and Washington.
All three major averages closed at their worst levels in almost two months.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 25.50 points, or 0.22 percent, to finish at 11,796.23, led by Hewlett-Packard and Boeing .
Despite the week's losses, the blue-chip index is still in positive territory for the year.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.46 points, or 0.04 percent to end at 1,215.67. The Nasdaq fell 15.49 points, or 0.60 percent, to close at 2,572.50.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished at 32.
For the week, the Dow declined of 2.94 percent, the S&P tumbled 3.81 percent, while the Nasdaq dropped 3.03 percent. Hewlett-Packard was the best performer on the blue-chip index for the week, while Alcoa led the laggards.
All 10 S&P sectors posted a loss for the week, led by financials.
“These volumes are so light that it makes the markets all the more volatile,” said Doreen Mogavero, president and CEO of Mogavero, Lee & Company. “Equity markets in the last few days have not looked strong and the selloff due to the European bond market is an indicator of how sensitive we still are to headlines.”
ECB is considering a move to lend money to the IMF that would be used to finance bailouts to heavily debt-ridden euro zone countries, according to a report. Meanwhile, other reports say Germany and the ECB remain opposed to the plan, but talks could begin with no viable alternatives.