Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services Friday, October 24, 2003

Techs stumble again,
but Dow rebounds

NEW YORK >> Tech stocks extended their decline yesterday as investors locked in gains following disappointing results from Computer Associates International Inc. Drug shares, hit hard the previous session, rebounded on strong earnings from Eli Lilly & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Analysts said investors were being mostly cautious after sending the market's major indexes to 52-week highs last week. Many wanted to see not only solid earnings but also better-than-expected revenue and outlooks before making major stock purchases.

"The earnings numbers are pretty good, but the large run-up in stocks this year discounts a lot of that," said John Caldwell, chief equity strategist for McDonald Financial Group. "The bottom line is the market still looks relatively expensive."

The Nasdaq composite index dropped 12.56, or 0.7 percent, to 1,885.51, following a decline of 42.83 on Wednesday. But the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14.89, or 0.2 percent, at 9,613.13, following a two-day loss of nearly 180 points. Earlier in the day, the Dow fell as much as 46.51 points. And the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.41, or 0.3 percent, to 1,033.77.

Decliners edged advancers on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume was heavy at 2.09 billion shares, but less than the 2.17 billion traded Wednesday.

The Russell 2000 index stocks fell 2.66, or 0.5 percent, to 510.49. The NYSE composite index gained 6.20, or 0.1 percent, to 5,864.33. The American Stock Exchange composite index edged up .06 to 1,018.35.

The Treasury's two-year note fell 2/32 to 99 2 1/32, with its yield rising 4 basis points to 1.80 percent. The 10-year note lost 1632 to 99 1532, with its yield rising 7 basis points to 4.32 percent.

Computer Associates dropped $2.13 to $23.02 after the software maker posted a wider quarterly loss and said this quarter's revenue will be lower than expected.

Sony Corp. fell $2.66 to $34.49 after the electronics and entertainment giant said earnings slid by 25 percent in its fiscal second quarter, citing in part losses from disappointing movie box office performance.

KLA-Tencor Corp. slid $4.56 to $53.49 after the maker of semiconductor production equipment said quarterly income fell 27 percent.

Drug shares were among the winners yesterday after heavy losses Wednesday. Eli Lilly rose $4.32 to $65.10 after reporting third-quarter profits that met estimates. And Bristol-Myers gained 85 cents to $25.10 after notching a doubling of third-quarter profits that beat analysts' expectations.

Microsoft Corp. edged up 2 cents to $28.91 in advance of the software maker's quarterly earnings report. After the market closed, Microsoft reported higher earnings per share that beat estimates by a penny. The company's shares declined in extended-hours trading, dropping $1.37, or 4.7 percent.

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