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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dow shakes off six-week losing streak (ext)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Dow broke its six-week losing streak on Friday, ending the day with modest gains following a sharp decline in oil prices and another wave of mixed economic data.

However technology shares continued to struggle, with the Nasdaq posting a weekly decline of 1%. The S&P also broke its six-week losing streak, barely, gaining less than 0.1% for the week.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 43 points, or 0.4%, to close at 12,004.

The S&P 500 (SPX) gained 4 points, or 0.3%, to 1,271.50; ending the week essentially unchanged.

"At the pace we've been selling off, you should expect bounces along the way, but the question is whether these short-covering bounces are part of a shift in market sentiment," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist with Prudential Financial.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) fell 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,616.

With less than an hour before the closing bell, credit agency Moody's said it was putting Italy on watch for a possible credit rating downgrade. The news took some steam out of Friday's rally, but it wasn't enough to end the Dow and S&P's modest gains.

The recent decline in oil prices and new developments out of Greece has helped give the markets a boost late this week, investors said.

Earlier this week, oil prices plunged more than 4% on Greek debt woes and are now trading at four-month lows. Oil prices settled down an additional 2% on Friday to $93.01 a barrel.

"The froth we saw in commodities a month ago has dissipated and it's helping lower inflation expectations," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC Wealth Management.

The dollar slipped against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

Gold futures for August delivery rose $9.20 to $1,529.20 an ounce.

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