US stocks mixed, early rally over Greece falters amid Asia tensions

US stocks mixed, early rally over Greece falters amid Asia tensions

US stocks were mixed Friday, but ended up for the week, rallying as investors considered the bail-out package for Greece and faltering amid heightened tensions in Asia over a reported naval conflict between North and South Korea, dpa reported.

Wall Street advanced through Friday afternoon after the deal between eurozone leaders to help Greece face its debt crisis boosted confidence in the euro.

The news overshadowed a report from the US Commerce Department released Friday that the economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the last quarter of 2009.

The report said the US economy grew at a 5.6-per-cent annual pace in the fourth quarter of 2009 as it pulled out of a deep recession, but this figure was less than originally predicted.

For the whole of 2009, the US economy contracted 2.4 per cent, the poorest one-year result since 1946.

Reports of a conflict between North and South Korea was believed to have caused some stock selling. "This is really all about that variable we call the geopolitical; it's about Korea," Peter Kenny, a managing director in institutional sales at Knight Equity Markets LP in Jersey City, New Jersey, told Bloomberg. "It's taken some of the euphoria out of the market."

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 9.15 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 10,850.36. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index was up 0.86 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 1,166.59. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.28 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 2,395.13.

The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 have all risen in six of the last seven weeks.

The US currency fell against the euro to 74.57 euro cents from 75.33 euro cents on Thursday. The dollar dropped against the Japanese currency to 92.51 yen from 92.70 yen the previous session.

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