NEW YORK -- Yet another round of profit warnings brought high-tech stocks sharply lower and quashed a blue-chip advance today. The focus on earnings outweighed investors' relief over an apparent end to the presidential election deadlock.
Dow up 26.17
Tech stocks sagged in response to a tech profit warning from Compaq Computer after yesterday's market close. A drop in retail sales in November added to the jitters. "The earnings warnings are getting pretty thick," said Charles White, portfolio manager at Avatar Associates. "When you've got retail sales slumping as much as they have and you've got consumers as uneasy as they are, these things start to weigh on the marketplace."
Blue chips got a moderate bump up. But an earnings warning by Whirlpool and weaker-than-expected November retail sales caused the Dow Jones industrials to retreat from an early 120-point advance. The Dow closed up 26.17 at 10,794.44. But the Nasdaq composite index fell 109.00 to 2,822.77 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 11.19 at 1,359.99. The NYSE composite index lost 1.70 to 653.30, the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 0.78 to 879.96 and the Russell 2000 index was down 7.85 at 469.91. Decliners led advancers by 7 to 5 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,494 down, 1,379 up and 448 unchanged. Volume was 1.18 billion shares vs. 1.07 billion yesterday.
The Treasury's 10-year note rose 22/32 to 103 23/32; its yield dropped 9 basis points to 5.25. The 30-year bond rose 1 1/32 to 111 14/32; its yield fell 7 basis points to 5.46 percent.