After days of wild gyrations, the market's been reasonably calm this week, taking its cues from releases of corporate earnings.
But a profit
has taken down the semiconductor sector today and hit some related technology companies. National Semiconductor lost 32.8%, and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
, which tracks the chip sector, is off 6.7%. Equipment maker
is currently off 9.5% and
is losing 7.7%.
Investors' mettle is being tested in the afternoon, and like Brave Sir Robin, they're running away from that test. Selling in the tech sector is increasing, especially among chip makers and computer companies. The
Nasdaq was losing steam as the afternoon progressed. And the
Dow was trimming its gains as technology components in the index weakened.
started the day on the plus side, but was lately off 7.2% to $91.25.
reported strong earnings last week, is also sliding after a downgrade this afternoon by
Banc of America Securities
Big-cap technology stocks were weak again.
remains soft and other networking companies, including
, are down sharply.
Fiber optic companies are weak for the second day running after Monday's strong earnings release from
separate story on Corning's earning. It was lately off 7.2%.
The New York Stock Exchange's stalwarts are airline and transportation stocks.
was upgraded by
and was lately rallying, up 3.6%. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
gained 1.2%, helping lift the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
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Strength abounds in industrial company stocks.
rebounded from yesterday's weakness after the announcement of its proposed merger with fellow Dow component
advanced sharply, up 2.6%, and
, an aerospace and defense company, hit a new 52-week high of $69.31 today, but was lately traded at $68.38.
Chemical companies are benefiting from a strong earnings report out of
, which was lately up 3%.
is gaining 8.4%, and the
S&P Chemical Index
No tissues needed here. Paper companies are doing well today.
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index
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After three days of gains, the bond market has pulled back today. Investors are less motivated to move to safe investments because recent unrest in the Middle East isn't capturing the headlines in the same way it was last week. And the stock market isn't giving investors an excuse to pile out of equities.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was at 100 25/32, down 12/32 and yielding 5.644%.
Treasury bondis at 107 16/32, 18/32 lower, to yield 5.721%.
In economic data, the
BTM Weekly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index
chart ) fell 0.2% in the week ending October 21 after a 0.5% rise in the previous period.
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