U.S. stock indices finish narrowly mixed in choppy trading

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By Palash R. Ghosh | June 26, 2010 10:23 AM EST

U.S. stock indices finished mixed, but above intra-day lows, in choppy trading, ahead of the start of the much-anticipated G20 meeting this weekend, as traders puzzled over a flurry of conflicting economic data: including a downwardly revised to first quarter GDP growth (2.7 percent vs. 3.0 percent), but an upwardly revised U.S. consumer sentiment for June.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 8.99 points, or 0.09 percent, at 10,143.81; the S&P 500 index edged up 3.07 points, or 0.29 percent, at 1,076.76; and the NASDAQ composite eked out a 6.06 point gain, or 0.27%, at 2,223.48.

Investors also apparently were relieved that the pending financial regulation bill will not be as onerous as previously believed. The compromises to the bill by a House-Senate reconciliation committee include features that would limit banks from investing in high-risk asset classes, but would allow such activity at subsidiaries and would not restrict derivatives trading.

“The big question is will the now finalized financial overhaul bill in the US prevent a repeat of the recent financial crisis?” wrote Capital Economics in a research note. “In our view, many of the provisions in the bill would help to reduce the risk of an identical crisis developing. Several of those provisions will collectively reduce the scope for large financial institutions to increase leverage and take excessive risks with the deposits entrusted to them. In addition, there will now be an explicit framework for how to wind down any large institution that fails.”

European stock markets finished lower, driven by late-session sell-off., partially due to news of downwardly revised 1Q GDP in the U.S.

FTSE slid 1.05 percent, exacerbated by weakness in energy sector as BP at one point sunk to a 14-year low, on news that costs of containing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has already exceeded $2-billion

Germany's DAX declined 0.48 percent; and France's CAC 40 tumbled 1.00 percent.

Crude oil futures surged over 3 percent to about $79 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Treasury prices rose, as the yield on The 10-year Treasury note edged down to 3.11 percent from 3.12 percent on Thursday.

Major Asian equity indices dropped, following Wall Street's declines Thursday, partially on fears that financial regulation in the U.S. would hurt the banking sector and curb global economic growth. Japan's Nikkei-225 index plunged 1.92 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged down 0.21 percent.

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