U.S. stocks end flat though Amazon deal weighs; dollar dips
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended little changed on Friday, though Amazon.com's deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods Market pressured a wide range of companies including Wal-Mart, while the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields dipped after disappointing economic data.
Energy shares offset the declines in consumer names, with the S&P energy index .SPNY rising 1.7 percent and oil prices ending higher on the day.
The Amazon deal sent shockwaves through the food distribution market and others, hurting stocks like Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote), which slid 4.7 percent, grocer Kroger (KR.N: Quote), which tumbled 9.2 percent, and Costco Wholesale (COST.O: Quote), which fell 7.2 percent.
The S&P 500 consumer staples index .SPLRCS ended down 1 percent.
"It's disrupting a number of industries here, and that's what's causing the market problems," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Sarasota, Florida.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 24.38 points, or 0.11 percent, to end at 21,384.28, the S&P 500 .SPX added 0.69 point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,433.15 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 13.74 points, or 0.22 percent, to 6,151.76.
MSCI's index of stock markets across the world .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.3 percent, while European shares .FTEU3 added 0.6 percent, rebounding from recent losses. Continued...