Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

IBM’s revenue miss
leaves stocks mixed

NEW YORK >> Wall Street finished mixed yesterday, weighed down by disappointing revenue at IBM Corp. and solid but not exceptional earnings at other companies. Still, the Nasdaq composite and Standard & Poor's 500 index posted new 52-week highs.

Analysts said investors who had sent stocks to 16-month highs in recent days on expectations of a strong earnings season needed more incentives to make big stock purchases.

"On balance, the earnings have been what Wall Street expected. That's good, but not enough to get the market moving," said Matt Brown, head of equity management at Wilmington Trust. "To get the market up, you need to see a lot of companies beat expectations. Maybe that will happen in the next quarter."

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 11.33, or 0.1 percent, at 9,791.72, having slipped 9.93 in the previous session.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 11.04, or 0.6 percent, to 1,950.14. It was the highest finish since Jan. 17, 2002, when the tech-focused index stood at 1,985.82.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.31, or 0.3 percent, to 1,050.07. It was the highest close since May 31, 2002, when the index stood at 1,067.14.

Advancing issues led decliners 8 to 5 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 1.79 billion shares, compared with 1.95 billion traded Wednesday.

The Russell 2000 index rose 2.29, or 0.4 percent, to 529.64.

The NYSE composite index gained 16.64, or 0.3 percent, to 5,952.25. The American Stock Exchange composite index rose 3.40, or 0.3 percent, to 1,020.94. The Treasury's two-year note fell 1032 to 99 1332, with its yield rising 16 basis points to 1.93 percent. The 10-year note lost 1632 to 98 1032, with its yield gaining 6 basis points to 4.46 percent.

Dow industrial IBM dropped $3.46 to $89.28 after the computer company reported earnings that met analysts' forecasts; however, its revenue fell short of estimates.

Among other companies reporting earnings, Ford Motor Co. rose 20 cents to $12.34 after the automaker reported a narrower third-quarter loss, citing good results from its financial services arm. Coca-Cola Co. fell 10 cents to $45 after reporting quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations.

A pair of mixed economic reports had little effect on trading.

The Commerce Department reported yesterday that consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent in September. The reading was slightly stronger than the 0.2 percent increase analysts were expecting and should relieve some concerns about deflation, or a dangerous slide in prices -- although it could fan fears about inflation. Meanwhile, the department said separately that new jobless claims fell last week by a seasonally adjusted 4,000 to 384,000. It represented a decline for the second week in a row.

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