NEW YORK (AP) ? The market struggled for direction Friday morning, signaling what could be a mundane ending to an electrifying week.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up five points at 13,258 in the first half-hour of trading. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 rose two points to 1,404. But the Nasdaq composite index fell 4 points to 3,052.
Investors this week have been encouraged by signs that the U.S. economy is healing, helped by better reports about the unemployment rate and retail sales. The Greek debt crisis, while far from solved, has briefly faded from the headlines.
However, high gas prices remain a key concern and could derail any nascent recovery. Gas is currently $3.83 per gallon, on average, 31 cents more than a month ago, spiking higher over concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.
The Labor Department did say Friday that inflation in other prices had been relatively mild. Food prices, which had been rising, were unchanged for the first time in 19 months.
Apple, which released the iPad 3 Friday, fell 1 percent in early trading, though it’s still up a staggering 44 percent for the year.
It’s been a big week for the market, which hit several key psychological milestones. While it’s debatable how much those markers mean, there’s no denying that they caused a stir.
On Tuesday, the Nasdaq closed above 3,000 for the first time since December 2000. On Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 closed above 1,400 for the first time since June 2008. As of Thursday, the Dow had climbed for seven straight up days, its longest streak so far this year.
Markets in Europe were mostly up. Spain climbed despite a report signaling its debt load is growing heavier. Germany, which has been one of the strongest euro countries throughout the debt crisis, rose after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she opposed a big increase in Europe’s financial rescue fund.