S&P and Dow fall for second week on recovery woes

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) slipped on Friday and the S&P 500 and Dow fell for a second straight week on persistent concerns the recovery has tapered off.

Even so, major indexes came off Friday’s lows as some investors homed in on positive outlooks in the tech sector and used this week’s M&A news as an excuse for late-day buying.

“Earnings season came in pretty strong; M&A activity was very encouraging this week and that’s usually a bullish sign,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“The flip side is the economic data this week has been very, very poor. No one’s making a big bet either way, it’s just short-term moves.”

The Nasdaq fared better than the other indexes to end a hair higher after positive forecasts from Marvell Technology Group Ltd (MRVL.O: ) and Intuit Inc (INTU.O: ) drove their shares up.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) slipped 57.59 points, or 0.56 percent, to 10,213.62. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) was off 3.94 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,071.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) added 0.81 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,179.76.

For the week, the S&P 500 was down 0.7 percent, the Dow slipped 0.9 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent. It was the second week of declines for the S&P and the Dow.

Technical support held around the 1,070 level after the S&P 500 fell below that before recovering. The level, which represents last week’s low, held as support on Thursday as well.

Investors did not embrace all tech shares. Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) was among the biggest drags on the Dow after several brokerages cut their price targets on the computer maker’s shares due to concern about demand for tech products. HP fell 2.2 percent at $39.85.

Thursday’s gloomy jobs and regional manufacturing data remained in the forefront as investors debated how much the recovery could slow, while overall options action reflected cautious investor sentiment.

With August options expiring on Friday, options investors are bracing for a quiet market next week.

The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, was expected to stay below 25, suggesting a relatively calm market. The index closed down 3.6 percent.

Natural resource stocks such as Chevron Corp (CVX.N: ) and Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (FCX.N: ) came under pressure as U.S. crude oil fell more than 1 percent and copper futures stumbled.

Chevron dipped 1 percent to $75.05, while Freeport McMoRan was off 1 percent to $71.37.

On the upside, chipmaker Marvell gained 8.4 percent to $16.16, while software maker Intuit jumped 15 percent to $44.60.

Volume was tepid through the week and about 6.93 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq on Friday. This was well below last year’s estimated daily average of 9.65 billion.

Declining stocks slightly outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,721 to 1,230, while on the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers 1,308 to 1,272.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Additional reporting by Doris Frankel and Angela Moon; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

S&P and Dow fall for second week on recovery woes