The stock market opened with a strong start on Friday, with the major averages up more than 1 percent following a good day for world markets on Thursday.

Bans on “naked short-selling” were put in place in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium on Friday, meaning investors there could not sell securities that lacked the underlying assets with the strategy in mind of buying them back at a lower price. The bans seems to have had a positive impact on those markets.

But at the end of a week of extreme ups and downs, as the mood of investors in the U.S. has swung alternately between pessimism about the continuing financial crisis and positive news about the job market and world stock markets, the S&P 500 still came out early Friday down by about 2 percent for the week. –BF

The New York Times:

American stock markets have been wildly volatile in the past four trading sessions, with alternating days of collapsing and then sharply rising prices. The mood has swung between speculation about worries over the economy and a renewed financial crisis, and confidence that banks are healthy and corporate profits strong.

As the week drew to a close, investors sifted through new data on the economy, including insights into consumer behavior, a crucial element in trying to gauge the pace of the recovery.

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