U.S. stocks pare gains as euro weakens

09:27, May 19, 2010      

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Wall Street pared early gains and traded mixed on Tuesday as the euro weakened again versus the U.S. dollar.

Major indexes opened higher before retreating to the level around the neutral line as the euro rebounded from its four-year lows against the U.S. dollar after Greece received the first installment of the bailout funds worth 17.9 billion dollars on Tuesday, which will ease the country's immediate funding needs.

Housing numbers provided a mixed picture and did little to bolster the market. According to the Commerce Department, housing starts rose 5.8 percent to a 672,000 annual rate in April, the highest since October 2008. But building permits, a sign of future construction, dropped 11.5 percent to the lowest level in six months, while economists had expected a drop of only 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores posted quarterly results that beat expectations, but the world's largest retailer said its second- quarter earnings could fall short of estimates as its shoppers remain under pressure.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 1.21, or 0.01 percent, to 10,627.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.38, or 0.21 percent, to 1,134.56 and the Nasdaq was down 16.51, or 0.70 percent, to 2,337.72.



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