Stocks fluctuate as global markets slide

The stock market is back in a lull as investors wait for the next signals on the economy ? and whether it’s headed for another recession.

Stocks opened lower, following overseas markets battered by fears about a global economic slowdown and Europe’s uncertain finances. Major indexes swung into positive territory within the first hour of trading, then sagged again by mid-day.

Just before noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 44, or 0.4 percent, at 10,946. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 1, or 0.1 percent, at 1,139. The Nasdaq composite index was up 6, or 0.2 percent, at 2,386.

European markets are down on fears that banks there face steep losses on bonds issued by heavily-indebted nations.