Stocks Post Second Straight Week of Losses

stock market traders
stock market traders

Stocks closed mixed Friday on vapor-light volume amid continued anxiety over the pace of economic recovery. A dearth of major economic releases or corporate earnings reports left equities with few catalysts in either direction as they extended their losses to a second straight week.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) fell 58 points, or 0.6%, to close at 10,213 Friday; while the broader S&P 500 ($INX) slipped 4 points to 1,072. The more volatile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) added 1 point to finish at 2,180.

In addition to many market participants being away on summer vacations, the action on Wall Street remains subdued because the outlook for economic growth remains as opaque as ever, says John Stoltzfus, market strategist at Ticonderoga Securities.

"The silence felt on the Street in volume-lite days, with moves up or down showing little conviction in either direction for anything more than a few days, appears to be evidence less of vacation season and more a pause and reflection among market participants on the condition of the economic landscape," Stoltzfus told clients in a Friday report.

Jason Weisberg, a trader with Seaport Securities, says the market will likely continue to churn in its current tight trading range around 1,100 on the S&P 500 until after the mid-term elections. "The market is saying is has no confidence in the administration's actions on the economy," Weisberg says. "There too much uncertainty on too many fronts. That's what the market is saying."

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are now off more than 4% year to date, while the Dow has lost more than 2% in 2010. For more on this week's market action, see the video below.