Stocks swung between gains and losses before finishing mostly down, while the Nasdaq extended its recent slide to approach two-month lows; the Nasdaq has lost 3.6% so far this week vs. a 0.9% drop in the S&P.
The market volatility is "typical of a market that remains at the higher end of the range, and when you wind down a quarter," says market analyst Peter Cardillo.
Citigroup fell 5.4% after its capital plan did not pass Fed stress tests, while energy shares climbed as crude prices hit a two-week high on continued supply drawdowns at the Cushing storage hub and signs of improving U.S. demand.
Gold closed below $1,295/oz. to six-week lows as signs of improving U.S. economic growth and easing concerns about Ukraine dampened investor interest.
The week-long trend of selling shorter-end Treasurys in favor of longer maturities continued, as the yield on the benchmark 30-year bond sank as low as 2.668%, a nine-month low.