(Updated from 10:06 a.m. EDT)
Wall Street wasn't placing any big bets this morning, as investors continued to digest a crush of earnings reports.
Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently up 59 points to 10,531; the
Nasdaq was rising about 5 points to 2034, and the
S&P 500 was gaining 2.3 points to 1205.
"I'm expecting some early morning weakness," said Ray Hawkins, vice president of block trading at J.P. Morgan. "But I'm not totally negative on the market here. This is a big day for earnings. We'll get a lot of wait-and-see." Hawkins said he expected trading volume to be thin, as it was on Monday.
Today and tomorrow are among the biggest earnings days of the quarter, and Wall Street wants more clues to the timing of a profits recovery. Investors have been expecting that the earnings decline would turn some time this year, but some worry that the economy may fall into a prolonged recession.
Buyers may be particularly worried about a post-close earnings report from chip giant
. Published reports released after the closing bell Monday said Intel was cutting prices on some of its microprocessors by as much as 37%, and Wall Street fears the company will be forced to lower its guidance for the rest of the year. Intel's price cuts come in the midst of a price war with its rivals, in particular
, which has been driven by sluggish PC demand.
Also on tap to report earnings today are
J.P. Morgan Chase
are scheduled for Wednesday.
In the meantime, earnings reports released since the close of trading yesterday didn't provide much encouragement. Dutch electronics firm
joined the chorus of companies saying a chip market recovery won't come until some time next year. The news helped to topple European tech and telecom stocks this morning, sending the region's major indices south. Philips also said it expects to break even or record a small loss in 2001, and the company announced plans to cut another 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in its chip unit.
, the No. 4 U.S. banking company, posted a second-quarter loss of 5 cents a share. Analysts were forecasting earnings of a penny a share. The bank was hit hard by investment losses brought on by weakness in the stock market.
beat estimates by 2 cents with income of 56 cents a share. But earnings fell 41% from the year-ago quarter because of trading declines.
reported a 36.6% drop in second-quarter income to $1.12, in line with expectations. And semiconductor-equipment firm
reported a sharp drop in second-quarter earnings after the close of regular trading yesterday.
The market was little moved by the morning's
data. The data showed industrial production declined for the ninth-straight month in June, falling 0.7% for the month, compared with a consensus forecast of a 0.5% drop. May's data was revised up, however, to a 0.5% decline from initial estimates of a 0.8% drop. Capacity utilization fell to 77% for the month, its lowest rate since August 1983. Economists were expecting a steeper drop though, to 76.6%. Capacity utilization was at 77.4% in May.
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Bond prices were falling this morning. The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was falling 8/32 to 98 14/32, putting its yield at 5.207%. The 30-year bond was off 14/32 to 96 20/32, and yielding 5.608%.
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European markets were weaker near midday after Philips warned of a deteriorating outlook for chips and telecoms. The
was lately off 79.6 points, or 1.4%, to 5437.5. The Paris
was losing 45.9 points, or 0.9%, to 4976.9. Frankfurt's
was losing 49.7 points, or 0.9%, to 5804.1.
Asian markets stumbled overnight on U.S. earnings fears. Tokyo's
fell 214.8 points, or 1.7%, to 12,128.6. Hong Kong's
lost 129.3 points, or 1%, to 12,495.3.
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