Investing.com - U.S. stock prices erased earlier losses
sustained on weaker-than-expected consumer sentiment data and
finished near five-year highs on Friday on talk congressional
Republicans will agree to lift the government's debt ceiling.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished up 0.39%, the S&P 500 index was up 0.34%, while the
Nasdaq Composite index slipped 0.04%.
Stocks dipped earlier after data revealed that The Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary index of U.S. consumer
sentiment fell to 71.3 in January - its lowest level since December
2011 - from 72.9 in December, disappointing expectations for an
improvement to 75.0.
Many investors fled to the safety of the dollar on fears the U.S.
economy still faces stiff headwinds, as consumer spending drives
about 70% of the country's total output.
Towards the closing bell, however, stocks rose after congressional
Republicans said they would hike the debt ceiling if Senate
Democrats pass a budget proposal.
Fears congressional bickering similar to the 2011 debt-ceiling
debates dampened stock prices in recent sessions, as markets roiled
two years ago when lawmakers waited until the last second to lift
the government's borrowing limit, nearly throwing the government
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included General
Electric, up 3.52%, Caterpillar, up 1.89%, and DuPont, up 1.42%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Intel,
down 6.31%, American Express, down 1.53%, and Bank of America, down
European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.34%,
France's CAC 40 fell 0.07%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down
0.43%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.47%.
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