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Markets: After a volatile week, U.S. stocks closed essentially flat as worries about the rate of Chinese growth and the stability of European economies gapped up and later ebbed.

Markets: After a volatile week, U.S. stocks closed essentially flat as worries about the rate of Chinese growth and the stability of European economies gapped up and later ebbed. After initially plummeting early Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average worked its way up in the afternoon as worries eased about the impact of more tightening in China. Many in the market already had braced for further curbs earlier in the week. Unsettling the market Friday, China raised its banks' reserve requirements for the second time in as many weeks. While markets plunged on concerns that tighter monetary policy in China could cut demand for U.S. goods and commodities, investors seemed hopeful later Friday that China's rate of growth would remain strong, even with curbs to check inflation. The market's slight decline Friday also was cushioned by comments from Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who said the second day of talks on a possible aid package with European counterparts was "going well." Mr. Cowen's comments come as officials from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund were in Dublin to examine Ireland's finances and banking system.

In addition to concerns over the Chinese and European economies, analysts said the market was uneasy over the long-term effects of the Federal Reserve's $600 billion program of bond buying, known as the second round of "quantitative easing," or QE2. "The market is schizophrenic on a couple of issues; the first is QE2," said Fred Fraenkel, vice chairman of Beacon Trust Co. "Market participants who are focused on the short term like QE2 as a defensive prop against a double dip in the economy," while others worry that it could stoke inflation down the road, he said.

For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average added 10.97, or 0.01%, to 11,203.55. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.52, or 0.04%, to 1,199.73. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.09, or 0.004%, to 2,518.21.
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Title Annotation:WALL ST./FINANCE
Publication:MondayMorning
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Nov 22, 2010
Words:335
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