Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Indexes end mixed
on light volume

NEW YORK >> Wall Street took an expected break yesterday from a week of frenetic buying, leaving the major indexes mixed as investors bought blue chips but sold technology shares on an earnings warning from Nokia.

With light volume and little liquidity in the market, large-cap stocks drifted into positive territory late in the session, apparently lifted by little more than investor optimism over the economy and corporate earnings, which are expected to be above average.

"There's no real news to explain this. It's a vacation-type week, and I'd expect this is just a meandering thing," said Jay Suskind, head trader at Ryan Beck & Co. "With (last) Friday's job numbers and anticipation of earnings continuing to be good, the market's least path of resistance here is to the upside."

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 12.44, or 0.1 percent, to 10,570.81. The Dow had been down more than 53 points in early trading.

Broader stock indicators moved lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 2.41, or 0.2 percent, at 1,148.16, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 19.22, or 0.9 percent, to 2,059.90.

The Dow has posted impressive gains in six of the last seven sessions, including a 97 point rise Friday after the Labor Department reported an unexpectedly large jump in new jobs last month. Since its March 25 close, the Dow has gained 357.84, or 3.5 percent. Analysts believed it was merely a matter of time before sellers would take advantage of the higher prices, however, and that kept stocks lower though most of the session.

The Nasdaq's losses were blamed in part on Nokia Corp., which warned that its earnings would come in at the lower end of the expected range. Nokia, which plummeted $3.94, or 19 percent, to $17.21, said it had underestimated the public's demand for less expensive cell phones. The company's guidance has varied for months.

"What we're seeing here, particularly on the Nasdaq, is reaction to the Nokia announcement," said Scott Wren, equity strategist for A.G. Edwards & Sons. "I tend to think this isn't that big a deal, though. We still have some potential upside surprises in earnings going forward."

The price of the Treasury's 10-year note closed up 1332 point, while its yield fell to 4.16 percent from 4.21 percent yesterday. Two-year Treasury notes were up 332 point and yielded 1.83 percent, down from 1.89 percent yesterday.

Peter Dunay, chief market strategist at Wall Street Access, said the market's fundamentals remain sound, and that major worries of the past month -- a weakened dollar, rising oil prices and a lack of job growth -- have lessened over the past week.

But the market remains susceptible to bad news from overseas, he said.

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