Updated from 4:07 p.m. EDT
Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed slightly positive Friday, but the measure finished well below its session high as oil surged and a Texas jury handed
a defeat in a lawsuit over the painkiller Vioxx.
After rising more than 70 points earlier, the Dow closed up 4.30 points, or 0.04%, to 10,559.23. The blue-chip index was weighed down by a nearly 8% decline in Merck, which was ordered to pay $253.4 million in damages in the 2001 death of a man who took Vioxx for eight months.
A 3.1% gain in
kept the Dow afloat. The tractor maker trumpeted some contracts in China earlier.
was up 0.69 point, or 0.06%, to 1219.71. The
ended the day down 0.52 point, or 0.02%, to 2135.56.
"Today was the end to a very quiet week for a range-bound market," said Brian Williamson, equity trader with Boston Company Asset Management. "There was still nothing to shake up volatility. We have a few more weeks to go until the summer doldrums end."
About 1.21 billion shares changed hands on the
New York Stock Exchange
, with advancers beating decliners by a 9-to-7 margin. Trading volume on the Nasdaq was 1.22 billion shares, with advancers outpacing decliners 8 to 7.
On the week, the Dow fell 41 points, or 0.39%, while the S&P 500 was off 11 points, or 0.87%. The loss on the Nasdaq was 21 points, or 0.99%.
"Investors bet that the recent selloff is overdone, given the recent strength of corporate earnings," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist with Windham Financial. "We continue to hold critical support on the S&P 500 at the 1218.18 level. There
were no economic reports due out today to guide investors, and next week will also be light."
Elsewhere, the 10-year Treasury was down 1/32 in price to yield 4.21%, while the dollar was higher against the yen and unchanged compared with the euro.
Oil finished higher as word of some overseas production cuts filtered into the market. Crude for September delivery was up $2.08 to $65.35 in Nymex floor trading, a gain of 3.3%. Oil was virtually unchanged Thursday after posting its biggest decline in three weeks the day before.
( DNA) was initiated at Banc of America on Friday with a buy. The brokerage cited the hard time competitors will have replicating Genentech's recent clinical success and set a price target of $105 on the shares. Genentech gained $1.43, or 1.6%, to $89.15.
was raised to buy from neutral and UBS, which cited opportunities to turn up sales. The shares closed at $43.53 Thursday, roughly equal with its price of 12 months ago. Coca-Cola rose 86 cents, or 2%, to close at $44.39.
In earnings news,
was sold down late Thursday after the clothing chain lowered its full-year earnings forecast, citing a disappointing August. The company's second-quarter profit came in slightly above estimates. Brokerage Merrill Lynch cut the retailer to neutral from buy, pointing to the disappointing August sales. Gap fell 41 cents, or 2%, to $19.74.
Engineering software maker
second-quarter earnings rose 93% from a year ago to $75 million, or 30 cents a share. The company sees a similar per-share result in the current period, which would be above the Wall Street consensus estimate of 26 cents a share. Autodesk was higher by $2.06, or 5.4%, to finish at $40.41.
posted second-quarter earnings of $7.1 million, or 10 cents a share, down from $30.1 million, or 41 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding charges, the retailer would have earned 18 cents a share, a penny higher than estimates. Sales rose 7.6% to $508.7 million as same-store sales slipped 3.9% from a year ago. The company reiterated its 2005 earnings outlook and said its board has approved a $100 million buyback program. Ann Taylor added by $1.56, or 6.2%, to $26.60.
( CHINA) said during the second quarter it swung to a profit of $36,000, or break-even on a per-share basis, as revenue grew 43.9% to $64.6 million. The Thomson First Call consensus was for EPS of 2 cents. Shares rose 13 cents, or 4.1%, to $3.33.
announced it would sell up to 14.8 million shares to raise a further $4 billion,
finished higher on some analysts' belief that it could become an acquisition target for the Internet search engine, the
reported. TiVo was up 24 cents, or 4.3%, to $5.80.
Elsewhere, Lehman Bros. upgraded auto-parts maker
( DPH) to overweight from underweight, believing the Delphi restructuring, which involves
and the UAW, will happen out of court. Delphi shares gained 44 cents, or 7.4%, to $6.36.
Prudential Equity Group upgraded
to neutral-weight from underweight, citing the belief that the company's lower earnings estimates are more appropriate than previous outlooks. Aeropostale posted second-quarter earnings in line with estimates, then guided Wall Street lower for the third quarter and full year. The stock added 85 cents, or 3.6%, to $24.60.
climbed almost 4% after Deutsche Bank started the stock as a buy, assigning a $2.75 price target. Ciena was up 8 cents, or 3.9%, to close at $2.13.
Overseas markets were higher, with London's FTSE 100 adding 0.8% to 5309 and Germany's Xetra DAX up 1.5% to 4925. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei lost 0.1% overnight to 12,292, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7% to 15,039.