Stocks End Cautious Week on High Note

The inflation and oil price fears that helped keep U.S. stocks trading in a narrow zone all week also subdued things on Friday, although all major averages managed to close out the week in the black.

The Dow gained 38.89 to close at 10,416.41. The Nasdaq rose just 3.06 points, ending the week at 1,986.73. The S&P 500 average climbed 2.95 points to 1,135 even.

Once again, volumes on Wall Street were low as many investors have decided to keep to the sidelines until a clearer picture emerges on inflation and how the Federal Reserve will react with regard to interest rates. The markets still have more than a week until the Fed issues its decision on June 30th.

The numbers for the week show how little the markets moved. The Dow managed to gain just 6 points over five days of trading, while the Nasdaq lost 13 and the S&P shed 1.47 points.

Oil Higher, Dollar Down

Oil prices edged higher but not as dramatically as they had on Thursday. The price gains were attributed in part to the likelihood that exports from Iraq will remain disrupted for some time.

The dollar was sharply lower against key foreign currencies, largely because of news that the U.S. trade deficit, as measured by the broad current account balance, rose to an all-time high in the first quarter.

Airline stocks were among the most active on the day. Shares of United Airlines lost more than 7 percent after the company announced it had failed to win a guaranteed loan from the federal government while rival Delta saw shares rise after it announced a labor agreement with pilots.

Among tech stocks, Motorola fell 3 percent on an analyst downgrade predicting stiffer competition would pressure profit margins while Linux software company Red Hat saw its stock fall as much as 10 percent after it posted better-than-expected profit numbers but fell short of forecasts for revenue growth.

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