U.S. stocks swung between gains and losses, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index poised for a weekly decline, after a report showed consumer confidence unexpectedly declined this month.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent at 1,638.42 as of 9:59 a.m. in New York after losing as much as 0.2 percent.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan June preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 82.7 from a final reading of 84.5 the prior month, a report today showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey was unchanged at 84.5. Forecasts ranged from 82 to 89. The index averaged 64.2 during the recession that ended in June 2009 and 89 in the five years prior.
Investors have been scrutinizing economic data to determine whether growth is strong enough to prompt the Fed to scale back stimulus measures.
The S&P 500 has slipped almost 2 percent since May 21 after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank may scale back bond buying if the U.S. labor market “improves in a real and sustainable way.” Three years of earnings growth and stimulus from the Fed has helped push the gauge up 142 percent from its bear-market low in 2009.
The Fed will hold its two-day policy meeting next week, with Chairman Ben S. Bernanke scheduled to speak after the central bank’s decision on June 19.
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