Some blue-chip investors threw in the towel as the week on Wall Street came to a close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had marked some impressive gains early in the week, posted some modest losses.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index, for its part, managed to stay afloat, thanks to gains from components

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

and

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

.

In addition to a pullback from the Dow's recent rally and hesitancy before Election Day, this morning's

employment report

-- not as friendly as was expected -- kept the blue-chip index down.

Released this morning by the

Labor Department

, the jobs data showed that unemployment remained at its 30-year low rate of 3.9%, but that average hourly earnings rose. That wage number is particularly important, since higher wages in a tight labor market have the potential to lead to higher inflation. (

TheStreet.com

covered this morning¿s employment report in a separate

story .)

Dow components

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

, ended behind 2.1%,

United Technologies

, down 2.4%, and

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, off 1.8%, contributed the biggest losses to the measure.

Shares of

Sprint PCS

(PCS)

, the third most-active stock on the

New York Stock Exchange

, tumbled 22.1% after

Sprint

(FON)

warned that profits through 2001 would be lower than expected. Fellow telecom stocks

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

and

WorldCom

(WCOM)

were both up on the day. AT&T gained 4.1%, while WorldCom added 2.5%.

On the back of its earnings report last night,

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

-- one of the Nasdaq's most-active stocks -- lifted 12.2%. The wireless technology provider announced

earnings that beat analysts' estimates by a penny. Though Qualcomm's top-line revenue growth was weaker than expected for the quarter, it said it was comfortable with fourth-quarter estimates.

Shares of the ever-volatile

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

burst 28.3% after the semiconductor company announced that had signed a patent license agreement with

Samsung Electronics

. Earlier this week, the stock had dropped 25% after a report came out that

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was cutting back on its use of Rambus technology.

Back to top

Sector Watch

Transport stocks -- particularly in the airline industry -- had a bumpy ride this afternoon. The

American Stock Exchange Airline Index

fell 1%, the same percentage that the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

was off.

United Parcel Service

(UPS) - Get Report

fell 1.3% after saying last night that it would acquire at least 13 pre-owned MD-11 planes from U.S. aircraft manufacturer

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

.

The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

, propped up by Rambus' gains; was lifted 1.1%.

Back to top

Bonds/Economy

Bonds slipped following mixed signals from the employment data showing that average hourly earnings were rising faster than expected.

Following this morning's hotter-than-expected wage growth number, the benchmark 10-year

Treasury note had been face down in a puddle, but lately was up 1/32 to 99 13/32, pushing the yield to 5.833%.

The 30-year

Treasury bond was lately flat at 105 14/32, and yielding 5.860%.

The

employment report

(

definition |

chart |

source

) for October presented a mixed picture. Nonfarm payrolls grew 137,000, below expectations of a rise of 184,000 and down from September's 195,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9%. Average hourly earnings however, rose 0.4% ahead of a forecast 0.3% rise and well above the September increase of 0.2%.

Back to top