WALL Street closed mixed last night amid renewed concerns over eurozone debt, but strong results in the tech sector helped keep the Nasdaq in positive territory.
Moody's downgraded Ireland's ratings by five notches, hitting European bank shares hard. Eurozone leaders have agreed on how to resolve debt crises from 2013, but failed to reassure markets about what they will do in the short term.
US-listed shares of Allied Irish Bank fell 3.9 per cent while Barclays dropped 2.7 per cent. However, the impact on US shares not directly linked to the Irish situation were limited.
"There are more shoes to drop in Europe, but precedent has been set to help these countries. That's why equity markets aren't reacting significantly negatively to the news," said Michael Gault, a senior portfolio strategist at the New York-based Weiser Capital Markets, which has about $150 million in assets under management.
"Unless that support won't be there, I think investors will in general be able to shake off the news and find positives, like the tech results," he added.
Shares of both Oracle and Research in Motion rallied a day after they posted strong quarterly results. Oracle also issued an upbeat forecast.
The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 7.27 points, or 0.06 per cent, to end at 11,491.98 while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 1.05 points, or 0.08 per cent, to close at 1,243.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 5.66 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 2,642.97.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.46 per cent at 1126.14, dragged by banks.