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Market Update: Nasdaq Eases Gains, Dow Slips South

<LI>Tech, financials leading gains.</LI><LI>Oil, gas stocks taking hit.</LI><LI>Intel upgraded by Banc of America.</LI>

After soaring heavenward together at the open, the specter of oil and the euro frightened the

Dow Jones Industrial Average from its perch. The Dow was lately narrowly in the red, off 8 to 10,801. The

Nasdaq Composite Index was still holding on to its early vigor, however, up 60.6 to 3787.

Oil and euro threats could also deflate a tech bounce later today. Yesterday, a strong rally in semiconductors was unable to sustain itself and sputtered into the close.

With earnings pre-announcement season upon us, the combination of a slowing economy, rising fuel prices, a depressed euro and concerns over declining demand for semiconductors and PCs has created a veritable battlefield for stocks in recent action. The pre-announcement season kicked off last week and should last until the end of September, and investors have been quick to punish companies that warn of earnings weakness. Between Friday and Monday's action, the Nasdaq plummeted 187 to 3727, while the Dow gave up 279 to 10,809.

Most of the Nasdaq's big-cap movers were moving up today, including


(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report



(DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc Class C Report



(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation (INTC) Report



(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

. Cisco was up 1%, Dell was up 3%, Intel was up 5.2% and Microsoft was 1.5% higher.

And online book retailer

Barnes &


was one of the Nasdaq's most active stocks after announcing a marketing deal with



this morning. The bookseller was lately up 34.3% to $6.13, while Yahoo! was 1.8% higher to $106.88.

Intel, which was getting a powerful boost from a

Banc of America

upgrade on the stock this morning, was padding the Dow's fall, adding some 16 points of upside.

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report

was also doing its part, lately up 1.3% and contributing 12.6 points to Dow.

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J.P. Morgan was soaring along with the rest of the brokerage stocks after

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Report

reported earnings 11 cents better than analysts' estimates.

In the world of blue-chip industrials Dow component


(AA) - Get Alcoa Corp. Report

was oil's first victim today. The company issued a profit warning Monday after the close, citing higher energy costs and softening markets. Alcoa was off 3.9% to $25.94.

wrote about Alcoa in a

separate article. Despite the news,

Merrill Lynch

reaffirmed its buy rating on the stock this morning, saying the stock is significantly undervalued at current prices.

Diversified manufacturer


(IR) - Get Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR) Report

also warned that it sees lower-than-expected 2000 results due to a weaker euro and slower demand for infrastructure-related equipment. The company's shares were lower in off-hours action, and the stock was getting hit this morning, off 9.8% to $35.88.

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Sector Watch

Following the Intel upgrade, semiconductor stocks were soaring, with the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

lately up 3.8% to 988.

Oil stocks hit a bump in the road after continuing 10-year highs in oil prices had generated an incredible run. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was lately down 1.6% to 542.1, while the

American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index

was 1.8% lower to 230.

Brokerage stocks were getting a bounce from Goldman Sachs earnings, with the

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

up 1% to 649.

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The 10-year Treasury note was lately down 1/32 at 99 4/32, yielding 5.867%.

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