Greece hopes encourage market gains. 18.June.2011 Press Association.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 42.84 at 12,004.36

Greek God Zeus

Zeus hopes.

Signs that a solution to Greece’s debt problems could be near helped the US stock market eke out its first week of gains since April.

Germany softened its conditions for giving Greece more loans, putting Greece closer to getting more financial support and avoiding a default. Global financial markets were rattled earlier this week when a default by Greece seemed imminent.

Traders worry that a default by Greece could trigger another financial crisis, weakening the euro and leading to widespread losses for banks and governments that hold Greek bonds. A default would also push up the value of lower-risk assets like the dollar and US government bonds.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 42.84, or 0.4%, at 12,004.36. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.86, or 0.3%, to 1,271.50.

The gains were not widespread. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index lost 7.22, or 0.3%, to 2,616.48 after signs that large companies are faltering.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion plummeted 21% after giving a surprisingly weak forecast for the current quarter and the remainder of the year. The company is struggling to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Android phones. Other technology companies like Intel and Cisco Systems fell 0.3%, the biggest drop among the 10 industries that make up the S&P index.

Among other US companies, credit research firm Moody’s dropped 5% after analysts downgraded the company. McGraw-Hill, which owns rival rating agency Standard & Poor’s, fell nearly 4%. And BJ’s Wholesale Club dipped nearly 1% after two private equity firms made a bid for the warehouse club chain.

Germany’s softer stance toward assisting Greece pulled the price of lower-risk investments like government bonds lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.94% early today from 2.90% Thursday. Bond yields rise when prices fall.

The S&P 500 finished the week just 0.04% higher than where it started. That tiny gain was enough to break a six-week losing streak that went back to the last week in April. The S&P 500 index hits its high for the year on April 29, and has fallen nearly 7% since then.

Nearly two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 4.4 billion shares

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