Wall Street ends down in back-and-forth week


POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009

NEW YORK » Wall Street showed a little resilience as investors got answers to some of their questions about banks.

The major indexes closed down about 1 percent yesterday but recovered from much steeper losses early in the day, continuing the volatile trading that has buffeted the market this week.

Stocks initially fell on growing pessimism about the banking industry and a home sales report that came in weaker than the market expected. But as the day wore on, some of the uncertainty about the troubled banking system lifted when the U.S. Treasury Department said it's beginning to “;stress test”; the banks.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 80.05, or 1.1 percent, at 7,270.89 after rising 236 points on Tuesday and falling 251 on Monday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8.24, or 1.1 percent, to 764.90, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 16.40, or 1.1 percent, to 1,425.43.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 11.04, or 2.7 percent, to 401.44.

Losing issues narrowly outnumbered gainers on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 7.29 billion shares, up from Tuesday's 7.09 billion.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 2.93 percent from 2.80 percent late Tuesday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, was unchanged at 0.29 percent.

The dollar rose against other major currencies, and gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude rose $2.54 to settle at $42.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.