POSTED: Friday, May 24, 2013 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Friday, May 24, 2013 - 11:04am
CNNMoney Staff NEW YORK — U.S. stocks were under pressure for a third straight day Friday as worries about the Federal Reserve continue to hang over the market.
The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were all modestly lower at the opening bell.
The S&P 500 is on track to end lower for the week, which would snap a string of four up weeks in a row.
Stocks have been volatile the past few days as investors wrestle with what appears to be a growing debate within the Federal Reserve over the central bank's bond buying program.
With the major gauges up about 15% for the year, some investors have speculated that the market is on the verge of a long-awaited pullback.
But others say the market will continue to grind higher as investors on the sidelines look for opportunities to get in on the rally.
Meanwhile, overseas markets rebounded from Thursday's drubbing.
Japan's Nikkei, which plunged 7% Thursday, finished a rocky trading day with a 0.9% gain.
"In Tokyo we've seen an attempt at a recovery," said Nick Beecroft, senior market analyst at Saxo Capital Markets.
European markets were mixed, with France's CAC 40 in the green.
Shares of Dow component Procter & Gamble rose after the company ousted CEO Bob McDonald and replaced him with his predecessor A.G. Lafley.
The company had been under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman to make the move.
Pandora jumped more than 12% after the music site reported better-than-expected revenue and a slightly smaller-than-forecast loss after the close Thursday.
But shares of two well-known retailers plunged on weak results.
Sears Holding and Abercrombie & Fitch sank after reporting larger than expected losses in the most recent quarter.
Shares in Salesforce.com slid nearly 7% as the company offered a weak 2014 outlook.
Gap shares also fell on weak guidance.
In economic news, new orders for durable goods rose 3.3% in April, following a drop of 5.9% in March, according to the Commerce Department.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had predicted a 1.6% rise.