Technology shares led the Nasdaq higher on Friday thanks to solid results from chipmakers, but a disappointment from Caterpillar kept markets from full-fledged optimism.
Dow component Caterpillar Inc
We had a little bit of shortfall from Caterpillar, said Anthony Conroy, head trader at BNY ConvergEx, an affiliate of the Bank of New York.
Chipmakers paced the market's gainers, with big moves up from Sandisk
General Electric Co
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 28.99 points, or 0.23 percent, at 12,695.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 1.43 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,345.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 22.02 points, or 0.78 percent, at 2,856.45.
Caterpillar's stock, the best performing Dow component in 2010, was the average's top drag on Friday.
The company, a maker of equipment used in mining and construction, has been a stalwart performer in recent years, but rising labor and materials costs hit earnings. It was exerting a 46-point drag on the Dow, meaning that the 30-stock average would be higher without its losses.
European's sovereign debt crisis has continued to shadow markets. At an emergency summit on Thursday, euro zone leaders promised a second bailout for Greece with an extra 109 billion euros ($157 billion) of government money, plus a contribution by private sector bondholders that could top 50 billion euros by mid-2014.
Worries that euro-zone debt contagion could hurt U.S. banks have pressured equities in recent weeks.
Verizon Communications Inc
Equities have also been pressured by the wrangling over a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. Negotiations between U.S. President Barack Obama and the top Republican in Congress were not close to producing an agreement, lawmakers said.
(Editing by Leslie Adler)