May 28 - Summary of business headlines: global stocks bounce as central bankers pledge to stay the stimulus course and U.S. economic data look brighter. Conway G. Gittens reports.
There was enough market positives to go around, which at one point propelled the Dow as high as 218 points. But investors cut that gain in more than half by session's end - still - the Dow set its first record close in a week. The S&P 500 rose 10 points -no new high there and the Nasdaq gained 29 points. Talk from central bankers that they will continue to print money until the global economy is on stronger footing gave stocks an early bounce. But that gave way to volatility, something investors may have to become reacquainted with, says Knight Capital's chief market strategist, Peter Kenny. SOUNDBITE: PETER C. KENNY, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, KNIGHT CAPITAL GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Volatility will now become more of the normal metric as markets start gauging or pricing in the sense, or timing, that the U.S. Federal Reserve is going to start discussing more and more openly the prospect and time frame for the introduction of a tapering off of quantitative easing, which the market has become so comfortable and so accustomed to." Here's the good news: Home prices flew by the biggest percentage gain in almost seven years. The S&P/Case-Shiller index showing double digit prices gains compared to a year ago, a welcome sign as March began the spring buying season. Consumer confidence jumped to a five-year high in May. Perceived improvements in the labor market and the wearing off of the impact of higher payroll taxes are two factors behind the jump. And the U.S. banking sector has improved enough for Moody's to change its view on the industry to stable from negative. The ratings agency says near-zero interest rates helped consumers make loan payments on time, which in turn has put American banks in better financial shape. Aside from the good news, the website for Liberty Reserve was seized by the U.S. government under the Patriot Act. Operators for the digital currency exchange were indicted Tuesday, accused of helping criminals around the world launder more than $6 billion in dirty cash. Five people were arrested, bank accounts seized, and websites taken control of. Finally, European -stocks rallied between 1.1 and 1.6 percent on talk of continued monetary stimulus.