Stocks bounce around on global economic worries

By Pallavi Gogoi

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 23 2012 10:07 a.m. MDT

Tokyo Stock Exchange employees work at the computer terminal in Tokyo, Japan, Friday, March 23, 2012. Asian stock markets fell Friday, dragged down by reports of a manufacturing slowdown in China and a deepening economic malaise in Europe. Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 1 percent to 10,027.72 as the country's formidable export sector faded amid fears of slowing overseas demand.

Itsuo Inouye, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — Stocks are bouncing between small gains and losses as investors weigh the prospects of a global economic slowdown even as several U.S. companies report strong earnings. New home sales fell last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30 points to 13,075 at midday Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three to 1,395 and the Nasdaq composite fell three points to 3,059.

The Commerce Department said new-home sales fell 1.6 percent last month. Sales have fallen nearly 7 percent since December. Stocks of homebuilders fell.

Nike, FedEx, Tiffany have all reported stellar earnings this week, but investors are worried that these companies rely on sales in Asia and Europe. Reports this week indicated a possible slowdown in those economies.

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