(Updated from 3:02 p.m. EDT)
Technology stocks ended the day well in the green. Blue-chips were parked in the red.
Nasdaq Composite Index ended up 84 to 4098. A two-day sell-off earlier this week took a bite out of August's rally that had pumped up the index by more than 10%. Investors today saw the chance to take advantage of price dips, especially in semiconductors, and stepped in to buy.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 52 to 11,259, with weakness from financial component
. The investment bank lost 3% after topping off a new all-time high yesterday on reports that it was talking with Deutsche Bank about a possible combination.
Elsewhere, the broad S&P 500 finished up 10 to 1502, while the small-cap
edged up 6 to 543.
Advertising and communications company
was having some trouble after news that
said it may consolidate its advertising account. Merrill Lynch cut the company's near-term rating to neutral from accumulate following the news. Shares were tumbling 18.2% to $36.
Semiconductor stocks were among the beaten-down sectors getting interest from bargain hunters.
was up 3.8%, along with
, which was 8.5% higher.
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was up 3.3%.
In company news,
was falling $5.63 to $42.38 after the chemical giant warned investors it had scaled back its fiscal 2000 earnings per share estimates to between $2.85 and $2.95 a share, falling below the 16-analyst estimate of a $3.01 profit. The chemical giant blamed higher energy and raw material costs for the downward revision.
The skies weren't looking friendly for
. After reporting a 1.9 point drop in its August load factor, United Airline's parent had its earnings estimates lowered by both
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
Merrill Lynch chopped UAL's third-quarter EPS estimate to 30 cents from $2 and its full year EPS view to $5.80 from $8.25. DLJ cut UAL's 2000 estimate to $6.85 from $7.90 and 2001 EPS estimates to $8.50 from $8.75.
UAL shares were off 0.8%.
The Internet sector was taking a hit after Merrill analyst
Henry Blodget made cautious comments about third-quarter earnings.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was down 13.1 to 833.
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Drug stocks rose today after being knocked for a loop with Tuesday's downgrade on the sector by analyst Leonard Yaffe of
Banc of America Securities
. Yaffe cut his recommended weighting to market weight from over weight, saying he believes growth of the U.S. drug industry could slow significantly and that a shift to generic drugs would hurt the sectors' biggest companies.
The American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
was rebounding 2%, with heavy-hitters
Oil service stocks were sinking after OPEC said it plans to raise output by 700,000 barrels a day at its Sunday meeting in Vienna. Crude oil prices edged off a little from a 10-year high. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
was losing 1.7% after yesterday's high-flying gains. With crude oil futures striking $34 a barrel yesterday, the group received a cash infusion as investors became confident that oil companies would ramp up their capital spending.
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
was down a fractional 0.1%.
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Treasuries are lower on little news, as the economic data drought continues.
The benchmark 10-year note was lately down 7/32 to 99 31/32, moving its yield to 5.75%.
With no major economic reports slated before next Thursday (
retail sales and the
Producer Price Index) and Friday (the
Consumer Price Index and
industrial production, the Treasury market is biding its time, looking to energy prices and the corporate-bond offering calendar for guidance.
Oil yesterday hit a 10-year high, and the corporate-bond offering calendar is projected to be heavy for the month, competing with Treasuries for investor dollars.
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