U.S. Markets Mixed after a Week of Conflicting Economic Indicators

U.S. markets were mixed today after a slew of mixed economic news and indicators this week curbed investor optimism and reignited fears of a double dip recession. Concerns over a double dip recession weren’t just contained to U.S. investors; Bloomberg.com reported this week that former Office for Budget Responsibility Chairman Alan Budd mentioned that the office’s charts showed a second recession for Britain, while not likely, remained “a possibility.”

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 57.59 points to 10,213.62, its lowest close since July 21st, 2010. The S&P 500 fell 3.94 points to 1,071.69. The Nasdaq spent most of the day down, but before closing it managed to eke out a small gain of .81 points to close at 2.179.76.

One of the most important reports to impact investors this week was the number of new unemployment claims filed which, as was reported yesterday, rose last week to a level not seen since November of 2009. If these number continue to rise investors may need to brace themselves for further market declines unless some positive news combats their impact.

European and Asian markets were down on Friday.