Stocks react to mixed reports with gain
NEW YORK — The stock market eked out a gain yesterday as investors took downbeat economic news in stride. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index logged their best month since November.
The latest bad news came from several corners including the financial and housing industries, though the Commerce Department also reported that the economy grew at a faster pace than estimated for the end of 2009.
The mixed reports added to investors' confusion about the economy. Analysts are divided over whether a recovery is on track, which has led to swings in the stock market after nearly a year of huge gains.