Wall Street mixed after earnings data
NEW YORK » Wall Street closed out an impressive week with a mixed performance yesterday after disappointing high-tech earnings punctured some of investors' enthusiasm over better-than-expected bank earnings reports. But the major indexes still ended the week with big gains, the result of rising optimism about the troubled financial sector.
The market was clearly pleased when Citigroup Inc., while reporting a second-quarter loss yesterday morning, beat analysts' forecasts and joined Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in delivering stronger results than the market anticipated. But investors who ecstatically sent the Dow Jones industrials soaring by more than 480 points over Wednesday and Thursday were brought back down to earth by results from Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Google's results were lower than expected, the result of the weakening economy hurting advertising revenue, while Microsoft missed forecasts by a penny. Also, AMD's chief executive stepped down after the chip maker posted a wider-than-expected loss.
"If you look at the fundamentals, not a lot of changed in the fundamentals, but you had the financial crisis come to a head," said Philip Dow, managing director of equity strategy at RBC Dain Rauscher. "This was a pivotal week that we just went through, one that perhaps marked a bottom for the financial crisis. That doesn't mean we're about to have a bull market, but maybe a break in the pronounced selling that's been going on."
More banks are among the companies reporting next week: Wachovia Corp., Washington Mutual Inc. and Bank of America Corp. And hundreds of other big corporations will also be releasing results, keeping the market on edge as investors try to determine whether an economic rebound might be in the offing.
The Dow rose 49.91, or 0.44 percent, to 11,496.57.
Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.36, or 0.03 percent, to 1,260.68, and the technology-focused Nasdaq composite index dropped 29.52, or 1.28 percent, to 2,282.78.
For the week, the Dow rose 3.57 percent, the Nasdaq increased 1.95 percent, and the S&P rose 1.71 percent.
Bond prices were little changed yesterday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 4.05 percent from Thursday's 4.00 percent.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Meanwhile, oil prices retreated after rising earlier in the session. A barrel of light, sweet crude fell 41 cents to settle at $128.88 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 3.55, or 0.51 percent, to 693.08.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange, where 1.71 billion shares exchanged hands.
Google fell $52.12, or 9.8 percent, to $481.32 after it posted disappointing results late Thursday. Microsoft dropped $1.66, or 6 percent, to $25.86, while AMD fell 65 cents, or 12.3 percent, to $4.65.
Financial stocks were mixed. Merrill rose 18 cents to $30.91, after its wider-than-expected loss, while Citi added $1.38, or 7.7 percent, to $19.35 after its better-than-anticipated loss.