Stocks Finish Mostly Lower

June 30, 2008 1:47:42 PM PDT
Stocks were mixed, but generally lower on the last trading day of the first half of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average finished with a loss of three points at 11,350. Declining issues on the New York Stock Exchange led gainers 19-to-13 on volume of about 4.7 billion shares. The Nasdaq composite index was down 22 points at the 2,292 level, with roughly 2 billion shares traded. And the S&P 500 added more than a point, closing at 1,280.

Analysts say investors based their trades on what is now the dominant force in the market: the price of oil. The major indexes are ending the first six months of 2008 with double digit declines, and are very close to the levels of a bear market.

Avalon Partners chief market economist Peter Cardillo says the market won't show any signs of stabilizing until nervous investors pull more money out. He adds that the coming quarterly earnings reports could indicate that while some sectors -- like the financial sector -- are struggling, others might show decent results.