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Airlines, Brokerages Finally Buck Downard Trend

A few sectors were able to buck the downward trend on Friday, most notably airlines and brokerages, although few others were spared selling.


US Airways (U) was up 2.3% to $4.55. Continental (CAL) rose 5% to $14.66, and Delta Air Lines (DAL - Get Report) gained 3% to $22.47. UAL (UAL), the holding company for United Airlines, traded fell 0.6% to $17.13, and Southwest (LUV) rose 6% to $13.60.

But the news wasn't all good. Northwest (NWAC) was falling 5% to $10.45 following news that the carrier would cut 10,000 jobs, or 25% of its workforce, and reduce service by 20%. AMR (AMR), the parent of American Airlines and TWA, was down 3% to $17.90. The company, which earlier this week set plans to cut jobs, detailed that among those let go would be 386 pilots from American Airlines and 120 from TWA. The entire sector has been pounded this week as concerns mount about cash burn rates and evaporating demand.


Technology stocks, which have generally sold off this week, were still reeling. Computer maker Dell (DELL) dropped 4.8% to $16.63, while Oracle (ORCL) shed 5.8% to $10.76. Sun Microsystems (SUNW) was down 6% to $7.96, and Cisco (CSCO) sank 6.1% to $12.09.

Microsoft (MSFT) slipped 2%, and JDS Uniphase (JDSU), fell 6.3%. Intel (INTC) was off 6.6%, while Texas Instruments (TXN) gained 1.3%.


Brokerage stocks were mostly up Friday after a brutal week. Morgan Stanley (MWD) rose 6.5% to $40.08, and Merrill Lynch (MER) was up 4.5% to $37.65. Lehman Brothers (LEH) gained 1.8%, and Goldman Sachs (GS) rose 3%. Charles Schwab (SCH) gained 6.3% to $9.50.


Energy companies were mixed, with most hovering around the flatline. However, Royal Dutch Petroleum (RD) was off 1.8% to $44, while Halliburton (HAL) gained 4.7% to $22.58.

Basic Materials

Basic materials stocks were generally off between 1% and 2%, but chemical company Hercules (HPC) shed 5.6% to $6.95, and Allegheny Technologies (ATI) lost 9% to $13.20. Steelmaker Nucor (NUE) was up 3% to $35.54.

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