Created on Friday, 15 February 2013 Written by STEVE ROTHWELL,AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were little changed on Wall Street Friday, with the S&P 500 barely holding on to its seventh week of gains.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell two points to 1,520 as of 12:32 p.m. EST. For the week, the index less than a point higher. It has risen every week so far this year.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9 points to 13,963. The Nasdaq composite fell 2 points to 3,196.
Burger King gained 40 cents to $16.98. The company's fourth-quarter earnings nearly doubled after it revamped its menu. Energy stocks fell as the price of crude oil dropped nearly 2 percent to $95.52 a barrel. Chevron dropped 99 cents to $114.70 and Exxon Mobil fell 37 cents to $88.15.
A stock market rally that started in January has slowed in February. Investors piled into stocks at the beginning of the year after lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts. The gains continued as investors were encouraged by signs that the housing and jobs markets are recovering.
"We've just had such a fast start to the year," said John Fox, manager of the FAM value fund. "It just makes sense that you are going to have a leveling or a slowdown."
Herbalife surged $4.54, or 12 percent, to $42.80 after the billionaire investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he had accumulated a 13 percent stake in the company. The stock of the supplement company slumped last year after Pershing Square Capital Management's William Ackman described it as a massive pyramid scheme and placed bets that it would fall.
Investors are continuing to put money into stocks. Lipper, a unit of financial data provider Thomson Reuters, reported that $2.4 billion flowed into stock funds this week, marking the sixth straight week of increases. In January $37.4 billion went into stock funds, the most in that month since 2000.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, has risen as investors have put more cash into stocks. The yield rose 3 basis point to 2.03 percent today, it started the year at 1.70 percent.