The major market indexes closed modestly higher, after wavering between slight gains and losses throughout the morning. Trading volume was light and the stock moves were small, as the Dow Jones rose rose 26 points to 12,127.
The Dow Jones average opened at its lowest level since December after a 275-point sell-off on Friday ignited by grim economic signals, especially a dismal report on the labor market. The index closed down 17 points at 12,101.
Fearing a financial rupture in Europe, investors around the world fled from risk Wednesday. They punished stocks and the euro, and the yield on a benchmark US bond hit its lowest point since World War II. The Dow closed down 161 points to land at 12419.
German finance official says Berlin continues to oppose euro bonds, which would create debt backed jointly by European Union nations. EU members meet Wednesday in Brussels to discuss euro bonds and other growth-enhancing policies.