US Stocks Bounce From Small Gains To Losses As Investors Eye Europe, Earnings

Date : 10/11/2011 @ 1:58PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Hertz Global Holdings, (HTZ)
Quote : 24.29  0.37 (1.55%) @ 3:59PM

US Stocks Bounce From Small Gains To Losses As Investors Eye Europe, Earnings

Hertz Global Holdings, (NYSE:HTZ)
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U.S. stocks bounced between small gains and losses Tuesday, a day after blue-chip stocks posted their biggest gain in two months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 35 points, or 0.3%, to 11398 in recent action, following a 330-point surge Monday. Stocks had opened in negative territory Tuesday as investors cautiously awaited a key euro-zone bailout-fund vote in Slovakia, the 17th and final euro-zone country to act on an expansion of the fund. The country's parliament was expected to reject the plan, though legislative proceedings were ongoing as of Tuesday afternoon. The Slovakian finance minister said he expects it to pass some time this week.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index lost a point to 1194 in recent action, while the Nasdaq Composite added 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2574.

"Political votes are always the hardest things in the markets to forecast," said Michael Purves, chief market strategist at BGC Financial. "It's one thing to get your sense on Alcoa's earnings. It's quite another to take a good guess at the political process of this country, or any country."

Technology stocks led S&P 500 gainers, while utilities, viewed as a defensive sector, were the broad measure's worst performers.

Alcoa, which unofficially kicks off the third-quarter earnings season after the closing bell, gained 2.5% to lead blue-chip advancers. Bank of America, one of the financial stocks that suffers when euro-zone-debt worries strike the market, was another relatively strong performer, gaining 1%.

"The news in Europe has distracted investors," said David Keator, a partner at the Keator Group. "It seems that the market has totally dismissed what's going on with corporations. [Investors are] pricing in a heavy probability of a recession. The data doesn't support that."

In corporate news, budget retailer 99 Cents Only agreed to be taken private by private-equity firm Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, for $1.6 billion. Shares added 4.4%.

Dollar Thrifty lost 2.2%. The car-rental company has decided to remain an independent company, a year and a half after first reaching a deal to be acquired by rival Hertz. Hertz's shares gained 4.2%.

AMR Corp.'s American Airlines said it will cut its fourth-quarter mainline capacity by about 3% in response to high fuel prices and growing economic uncertainty, a move some analysts said would help support prices for plane tickets. Shares gained 7.9%.

Technology company Mistras Group's fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled, helping shares gain 1.5%.

Netflix fell 5.2% and was the S&P 500's weakest stock. The company said Monday it was abandoning a plan to separate its DVD-rental and video-streaming businesses.

-By Brendan Conway, Dow Jones Newswires; (212) 416-2670;

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