Better-than-expected reports on home building and jobs pushed two of the three major stock indexes higher Thursday. The broader market ended mixed.
The pace of new home construction quickened last month and the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell last week to 414,000, more of an improvement than economists expected. Weekly applications for unemployment have been over 400,000 since April, a rate that suggests job growth is still slow.
Worries that Greece's debt troubles could spread continued to weigh on financial markets. The dollar and U.S government bonds rose as traders moved money into safer investments.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 64.25 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 11,961.52. The Dow is now slightly higher for the week.
The S&P 500 rose 2.22, or 0.2 percent, to 1,267.64. The Nasdaq composite lost 7.76, or 0.3 percent, to 2,623.70. The two are less than 1 percent lower this week.
U.S. stocks have fallen for six straight weeks because of rising concerns that the economy isn't as strong as previously thought. If the S&P 500 closes down this week, it would mark the longest losing streak since the index dropped for eight straight weeks in early 2001 as the dot-com bubble was imploding.
High gasoline prices and a recession in Japan following its earthquake and nuclear disaster have combined to slow business and consumer spending. The S&P index is down nearly 7 percent since hitting its high for the year on April 29.
Locally, DST Systems fell more than 6 percent Thursday after climbing almost 13 percent the day before. DST said this week it had fielded occasional informal inquiries from a private equity firm to sell.
DST shares closed at $51.23 on Thursday, down $3.28.
The KansasCity.com Regional Stocks index climbed 2.76 points, or 0.41%, to 673.04.
BATS 1000 rose 8.84 points, or 0.06%, to close at 14,483.74.
Capitol Federal Financial rose 6 cents, or 0.51%, to close at $11.88.
Cerner Corp. fell 79 cents, or 0.68%, to close at $116.24.
Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 48 cents, or 1.18%, to close at $41.21.
Compass Minerals fell $1.02, or 1.18%, to close at $85.53.
DST Systems Inc. fell $3.28, or 6.02%, to close at $51.23.
Garmin Ltd. rose 30 cents, or 0.92%, to close at $32.99.
Great Plains Energy rose 22 cents, or 1.08%, to close at $20.61.
H&R Block Inc. fell 4 cents, or 0.26%, to close at $15.38.
Inergy L.P. fell 57 cents, or 1.64%, to close at $34.14.
Kansas City Southern fell 21 cents, or 0.40%, to close at $52.02.
Sprint Nextel Corp. fell 10 cents, or 1.88%, to close at $5.21.
UMB Financial Corp. rose 48 cents, or 1.19%, to close at $40.88.
Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. rose 39 cents, or 1.09%, to close at $36.16.
YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 1 cents, or 1.33%, to close at $0.61.
Compiled from news and staff reports.