S&P's 4-day rally ends on P&G's view; European shares up
The S&P 500 closed flat today, with a four-day rally in the index just barely coming to an end after Procter & Gamble cut its outlook, though some positive earnings limited the decline and eased concerns that valuations had become stretched.
The Nasdaq rose for a fifth straight session, boosted by strong results at TripAdvisor, while the Dow felt the pressure from P&G and ended the day slightly lower.
The S&P 500 gained 3.9 percent over the past four sessions, its best four-day performance in 13 months. The move put it about 1.6 percent below its record closing high of 1,848.38 set on Jan. 15.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 30.83 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 15,963.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost just 0.49 of a point, or 0.03 percent, to finish at 1,819.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10.24 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 4,201.29.
European stocks climbed, extending their brisk week-long rally, with banking stocks leading the gainers after robust results fed hopes of rising dividends in the sector.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.7 percent higher at 1,326.79 points. The index has risen about 4.4 percent in the past six sessions, reversing more than two thirds of its late-January sell-off.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index gained 0.6 percent, ending at 3,094.89 points.
Japan's Nikkei share average climbed to a 1-1/2 week high after strong Chinese trade data lifted investors' risk appetites and the Federal Reserve's new chief signalled no change in its policies.
The Nikkei ended 0.6 percent higher at 14,800.06, its highest closing since Jan. 31. It moved further away from a four-month low of 13,995.86 hit last week.