Updated from 4:31 p.m. EST

Blue chips ended lower as a short-lived rally sparked by the

Federal Open Market Committee's 11th rate cut of the year was eclipsed by a discouraging outlook from

Dow component

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 33.08 points, or 0.3%, to 9888.37. The

Nasdaq gained 9.81 points, or 0.5%, to 2001.93, and the

S&P 500 shed 3.17 points to 1136.76.

Stocks spiked after the

Fed

cut the

fed funds rate to 1.75% but quickly returned to earth when Merck said it expects 2002 earnings to be flat. Wall Street had been expecting the drug maker's earnings to rise by more than 8% next year. Merck ended down more than 9% at $60.70.

European stocks ended mixed, with Germany's Xetra Dax up 0.4% to 5146. London's FTSE 100 was down 0.5% to 5161. Asian shares were dragged down by weakness in technology stocks, particularly companies that make computer equipment. Japan's Nikkei closed down 0.9% to 10,474, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8% to 11,693.

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

reaffirmed its fourth-quarter sales forecasts and said it might beat earlier earnings guidance for the period. Nokia gained $1.71, or 7.2%, to $25.50.

EMC

(EMC)

closed lower as rumors of a lost contract circulated on trading floors. The stock lost 67 cents, or 4%, to $16.20.

Walt Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

said it expects hotel occupancy in the fiscal first quarter, compared with the year-ago period, to decline about 20 percentage points at Walt Disney World and 15 percentage points at Disneyland. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the media and entertainment titan said it expects the first quarter to be the most challenging quarter in terms of operating income. Disney gained 77 cents, or 3.6%, to $22.40.

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

is reportedly engaged in discussions to sell its television assets to

Vivendi

(V) - Get Report

. USA advanced $1.10, or 4.6%, to $25.05, and Vivendi shed $1.20, or 2.3%, to $50.60.

PacificCare Health

(PHSY)

was under pressure after Merrill Lynch downgraded the company to a near-term reduce/sell from neutral, saying a recent financing suggests the company's liquidity issues are worse than had been thought. Shares fell $2.15, or 13.3%, to $14.

GoAmerica

(GOAM)

announced that

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

will add the company's wireless network service and products to its portfolio of wireless solutions. The news boosted GoAmerica 122% to $2.49.

Treasury issues were higher following the Fed's decision. Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year note was trading up 9/32 to 99 18/32, yielding 5.06%.

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