Stocks closed up on Wall Street Wednesday, despite a slowdown in the US economy. Stocks have been unpredictable for weeks, ever since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke started hinting that a pullback in Fed stimulus programs would start soon.
Stocks jumped from the opening on Wall Street Friday, and traders put on party hats and a wave of buying helped the Standard and Poor's 500 index close above 1,600 for the first time. A surprisingly good jobs report sent stocks higher.
The news of a bailout of Spanish banks caused a brief burst of optimism to penetrate the gloom of Wall Street Monday. But within hours stocks had fallen again, with the Dow closing down 142 points at 12,411, another large decline.