Stocks Waver At The Start On Friday

U.S. stocks wavered at the start on Friday after Europe’s debt crisis drove heavy market losses this week. The Dow Jones industrial average lately gained 23.00 points, or 0.20 percent, to 11,793.73. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.33 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,217.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.69 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,582.30.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi told euro zone governments on Friday to act fast to get their rescue fund up and running, expressing exasperation at their lack of progress in response to an escalating debt crisis.

Italy’s lower chamber of Parliament began deliberations Friday ahead of a confidence vote for the new technocratic government formed to save the country from its debt crisis.

Deep spending cuts are set to kick in if a congressional panel can’t agree by Thanksgiving on how to shrink the budget deficit. And Congress may let emergency unemployment aid and a Social Security tax cut expire at year’s end. Either outcome could slow growth and spook markets.

Shares in Swiss bank UBS rose on Friday as investors welcomed its pledge to start paying dividends again. UBS said it would cut investment bank risk-weighted assets by almost half and shift focus back to its core business of managing the assets of the rich as it pared its profitability targets. UBS said it would propose a dividend of 0.10 Swiss francs per share for 2011, earlier than many analysts had expected, and implement a progressive capital return program thereafter.

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