Stocks Ended 2.4% Up for Week

U.S. stocks mostly fell on Friday, limiting weekly gains to 2.4% for the three major indexes after an index of consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.14 points, or 0.15%, to 13,232.62. The S&P 500 added 1.57 points, or 0.11%, to 1,404.17. The Nasdaq Composite shed 1.11 point, or 0.04%, to 3,055.26.

Consumer sentiment in March declined for the first time since August, as rising gasoline prices contributed to a downturn in expectations, according to a key gauge released Friday. The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters said sentiment fell to 74.3 in a preliminary reading for March from a final level of 75.3 for February.

Crude-oil prices climbed Friday. April futures for light, sweet crude rose $1.95, or 1.9%, to $107.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking the first close above $107 a barrel for a front-month contract since March 9.

Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states and Washington, D.C. Oil had its biggest gain in three weeks and natural gas prices also rose. Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

Gold was largely unchanged on Friday, but posted its second-biggest weekly decline this year due to an early week drop. The metal fell 1 percent earlier in the session after top gold consumer India said it would double import duties on bullion.

About the Author

has written 14443 stories on this site.

Copyright © 2012 Nine Stocks