The S&P 500 came within a hair of a new record high Friday
with bullish housing market data and upbeat earnings from retail
stocks encouraging early strength in equities. But gains were
tempered by risk-averse investors worrying over this weekend's
Ukraine presidential vote -- an election that could trigger
retaliatory action from Russia. Next week's heavy economic
calendar, that includes GDP and two separate consumer confidence
indices, also hangs over markets ahead of a three-day holiday
weekend. The sectors were nearly evenly split between gainers and
losers, although strength in the tech sector on names like Apple (
) and Hewlett-Packard (
) helped the Nasdaq outperform.
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