Stocks edge higher, euro weakens

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Stocks edge higher, euro weakens

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell into the black on Wednesday, providing some relief after a long day of selling. Profit-takers were swooping just before the close to the end of the gains.

Inflationary pressures, fears of a looming global recession and concern for the global financial system have unnerved investors in recent weeks and months.

Michel Vernier, head of fixed income strategy at Barclays Private Bank, told Reuters that we're far away from people in a mode where they're saying this is a distressed scenario.

We have too much inflation, but we've been given time to prepare on the household, corporate and government side. The Standard and Poor's 500 did worst, dropping for a sixth day in a row. The key index lost 11.81 points or 0.33 percent to 3,577. The Dow Jones industrials fell 28.34 points or 0.10 percent to 29,210, down 28.34 points or 0.10 percent. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.09 points or 0.09 percent to 10,417. The U.S. dollar was strong. The euro was closing out the New York session Wednesday at 0.9700. The British pound went up to 1.1093. The Japanese yen weakened sharply to 146.55. The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9978.

The New Zealand dollar was a bit firmer at 0.5605.

Equity markets overseas were mixed. In Europe, the German Dax fell by 0.39 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 was off 0.25 percent. The FTSE 100 declined by 0.86 percent in London.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 131.33 points or 0.78 percent to 16,701. The Shanghai Composite rose 45.71 points or 1.53 percent to 3,025. The Nikkei 225 edged down 4.92 points or 0.02 percent to 26,396 in Tokyo. The Australian All Ordinaries fell 2.00 points or 0.03 percent to 6,842. In New Zealand, the S&P NZX 50 fell by 83.48 points or 0.76 percent to 10,873.