Global stocks were essentially flat as modest gains in U.S. equities were offset by declines in Europe, Japan and some developing countries. Markets came under pressure late in the month amid political turmoil in Italy and Spain, signs of slowing economic growth in Europe and Japan, and deteriorating global trade relations.
Information technology stocks rallied, supported by strong gains at tech giants Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Energy, basic materials and industrial stocks also moved higher. On the other hand, telecommunication services stocks declined sharply, hurt by aggressive price discounting among wireless service providers.