U.S. stocks mostly rose on Monday as growth in manufacturing provided more evidence that the economy may be picking up, or at least not getting any worse.
Stocks ended slightly lower Tuesday as investors held back ahead of three critical events this week: policy meetings at both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank and a closely watched report on jobs in the U.S.
Banks dodged a big hit from the Greek debt crisis and rallied Thursday to lead the stock market higher. Strong retail sales and more encouraging news about the U.S. job market also helped stocks rise.
The latest setback in Europe's financial crisis is sending stocks sharply lower. The S&P 500, the benchmark for most U.S. stock funds, slumped to its lowest level of the year.
Tumbling demand for commodities and a drop in the euro led to a broad stock sell-off Wednesday that pulled the Dow Jones industrial average down 130 points.
Stocks extended their rally into a third week Monday as investors sent bank stocks higher following new global regulatory requirements and China's economy continued its robust growth.