Friday Wrap - Dow -0.12%, S&P -0.30%, NQ -0.30%

by: Roy Mehta

Friday brought a flurry of mixed economic data, pushing the major indexes lower on the last day of the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 17.31 points (-0.12%), Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 4.63 points (-0.30%), and the Nasdaq finished down (-0.30%). Volume on the NYSE was about 1.5 billion shares, and decliners beat advancers by a ratio of 9:7.

The Commerce Department reported personal income increased 0.3% in August, slightly less than expected. Consumer spending rose 0.6%, greater than the 0.4% predicted, and the core deflator year-over-year reading fell 0.1% to a safe 1.8%. The Chicago purchasing manager's index jumped to 54.2 from 53.8 last month, despite economists predicting a decline. Construction spending came in at 0.2% higher from last month, beating economists' forecast of a 0.3% drop. Lastly, University of Michigan's consumer sentiment dropped to 83.4 from 83.8, slightly disappointing. The 10-year Treasury note dropped 7/32 to yield 4.59%.

Sectors were also mixed, with energies (-0.9%) and utilities (-1.5%) dropping the most. Crude had a rollercoaster day, but ended down $1.22 to $81.66/ barrel. Jabil Circuit (-6.8%) ended lower because of lower than expected guidance for the next quarter. 3Com (+34.2%) flew up after Bain Capital announced it was acquiring the company (full story).

No significant economic data will be release Monday. The next couple weeks will be interesting as either the market will lose ground and form a dreaded double top (a bearish signal), or the exuberance (not irrational necessarily) will continue and indexes will trade through record highs.

Index performances for the quarter: Dow +3.67%, S&P +1.5%, NQ +3.8%

Sources: TheStreet.com, Yahoo
Commentary: Complete Consumer Capitulation?Top Winners, Losers of the Current Bull Market
Stocks/ETFs to watch: JBL, COMS

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