Stocks End Week With Losses After Mixed Friday Trading

July 7, 2008 - 8:22 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Fears of renewed inflation held Wall Street to mixed trading on Friday. As a result, all three major indexes lost ground slightly over the business week.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 30.96 points to reach 10,785.22, down 10.79 points over the past five days. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 2.72 points to 2,058.62, off 18.04 points since last Friday, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 0.84 points to 1,201.59, down 3.71 points for the week.

Trading was light throughout the session, as many Wall Street traders got a head start on the three-day holiday weekend. Bond and commodity markets shut down early Friday, and U.S. financial markets will be closed on Monday for President's Day.

Still, the last session of the week got off to a slow start after reports indicated that the Producer Price Index rose 0.3 percent in January. Remove volatile oil and food prices from that total, and the "core" PPI figure rose 0.8 percent, a significant one-month jump that could herald higher consumer prices and inflation in the near future.

That report halted any momentum the markets received after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan Thursday gave a positive assessment of the economy and said that inflation did not appear imminent.

"The Fed is now probably going to be more aggressive in raising interest rates," Peter Cardillo, chief market analyst and chief strategist at SW Bach and Co., told Fox News.

Meanwhile, Qwest Communications International, Inc., announced it would submit a new bid to buy MCI, Inc., leading to speculation that Qwest might end up in a bidding war with Verizon Communications, Inc , over the company As a result, MCI stock rose about 5 percent.

Overseas trading also ended the week with mixed results. Japan's Nikkei stock average, Germany's DAX index and France's CAC-40 all gained ground on Friday, while Britain's FTSE 100 slipped slightly.

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