The year is half over, and the glass is half empty as far as investors are concerned.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the first half Thursday down 4.7 percent for the year. The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index was down 5.4 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index was off 1.7 percent.
Stocks were almost back to the break-even mark two weeks ago, but then they ran into the barriers that have slowed down the market all year -- record oil prices, rising interest rates and uncertainties of the war in Iraq.
Though many market strategists are still sticking to their forecasts that the market will end the year up about 10 percent, there is a lot less confidence in that scenario than there was six months ago.
But despite the distraction of the unexpected resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the market did get the second half off to a decent start on Friday, with the Dow rising just enough, 28.5 points, to end the week up at 10,303. The Nasdaq inched up 0.41 points to 2057. And the S&P rose 3.11 points to 1194.
-- Jerry Knight