Updated from 11:51 a.m. EDT
Nasdaq Composite Index
was continuing to decline as investors took some of their profits from yesterday's gains. The tech laden index was sliding 30.53 to 4033.48, while the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was coming off of its earlier lows, now down 62.58 to 10,435.16. Across the board stocks were lower today, with earnings and interest rate fears looming over the market.
Lately, the broad
was losing 18 to 1461, while the small cap
skidded 2 to 526.
"Everybody is on Fed watch," said Jim Maguire, Jr., managing director at
. "The consensus is that the Fed won't raise rates this time around, but we'll probably see a slowdown next week ahead of the meeting. That, combined with summer doldrums could make for a very uninteresting tape."
The oil service sector began to fall out of investors' favor after trading higher in earlier in the session.
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
fell 1.6, or 1.2%, to 125.
Transocean Offshore Drilling
was lifting 11/16, or 1.3%, to 54 11/16, after hitting a new 52-week high during early morning trading.
The oils were also losing ground after
announced its would boost its output by 708,000 barrels a day. An increase in supply would dampen the steep oil prices, which pushed last quarter's corporate earnings higher. The
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
was slipping 7, or 1.3%, to 528. Dow component
was off 1.5%, while
was falling 1.5%.
Big industrial names continued to stumble, on concerns of a slowing economy. Dow components
were both lower.
The interest-rate-sensitive financial stocks were weaker today, after
analyst Judah Kraushaar cut his earnings estimates on
American Stock Exchange Broker Dealer Index
was off 1.6%. In recent weeks, the sector has been take down as investors returned to the Nasdaq. Like Kraushaar, many Wall Street analysts have voiced concerns about how the slowing economy and interest rates will impact financials' earnings.
Despite these concerns,
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
pulled through with better-than-expected earnings. But even the good news couldn't keep the stock up. Morgan Stanley slipped 2 3/16, or 2.6%, to 83 7/16.
"Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's good results could boost financials. At this point we're more worried about financials. I want to see these stocks get some strength. I want to see something more than technology and energy stocks act better. Technology has been up for five days straight," said Todd Clark, head of listed trading at
was flying 30 5/8, or 42.3%, to 103 3/8. The gain comes after
announced plans to acquire the company for $7.6 billion in stock. Investors were less enthusiastic about Texas Instruments, which was lately fairly flat, trading up 1/4, or 0.30%, to 82 1/4.
The weekly jobless claims report, rarely a market-moving number, was released at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Claims for the week of June 17 rose to 302,000, just barely above
consensus estimates of 289,000 and a little higher than the revised 297,000 for the previous week. The four-week average hit its highest point since the week of July 17, 1999.
FOMC meeting on June 27-28 was still haunting the stock market today. Although cool May data reports have most of the market convinced the Fed won't raise interest rates this time around, Greenspan will almost definitely issue a few hazy words on his outlook for the coming months.
"This market has been stuck in a trading range and it looks like we're going to continue banging around in that range," Clark said.
The big questions now are how much of the recent run-up is a pre-emptive rally, factoring in the likelihood that the Fed will hold interest rates steady this month, whether a slowing economy is going to slow
corporate earnings and which matters more for the broader market.
Whether or not tech continues upward today may depend on
performance. This stock was given credit for much of the Nasdaq's rise yesterday. Microsoft jumped 7.7% after Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson
froze a set of tough restrictions on the company's operations while its antitrust appeal is pending. Microsoft was recently up slightly, 0.7%, to 81 1/4.
Of course, the fact that the Nasdaq was able to hold its head above the psychologically key threshold of
4000 for the second-consecutive session this week hasn't hurt sentiment. Some say this bodes well for continuing strength on the Nasdaq.
"People will be watching to see if Microsoft can hold onto yesterday's gains," Clark said.
TheStreet.com Internet Index
was skidding 4, or 0.42%, to 912, with
continuing to sell off after Lehman Brothers rolled coverage with a neutral rating. Today, the revered
analyst Henry Blodgett defended the stock's buy rating, saying it was considered a core holding. Yahoo was falling 4%.
Breadth was negative on both the Nasdaq and the NYSE on moderate volume.
New York Stock Exchange: 1,004 advancers, 1,620 decliners, 511 million shares. 34 new 52-week highs, 50 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market: 1,682 advancers, 1,925 decliners, 835 million shares. 63 new highs, 37 new lows.
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Most Active Stocks
NYSE Most Actives
- Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Report: 8 million shares.
Compaq (CPQ) : 1.6 million shares.
Nokia (NOK) - Get Report: 7.3 million shares.
Nasdaq Most Actives
- Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report: 19.9 million shares.
Ericsson (ERICY) : 14.1 million shares.
Red Hat (RHAT) : 11.9 million shares.
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Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index
was off 0.6%.
Drug stocks, which showed strength in the face of tech decline, slipped today, with the
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
down 1.9%. Earlier today,
Deutsche Banc Alex Brown
sliced its rating on
American Home Products
to buy from strong buy. The shares were sliding 2.6%.
In tech news,
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was cooling off after yesterday's red-hot run, down 1.9%.
which is set to report earnings after the bell, was losing 4.5%.
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Treasuries were mostly higher on little news ahead of today's buyback of long-maturity issues.
In the only economic news of the day,
initial jobless claims
fell from last week's eight-month high of 312,000 to 296,000, indicating a slight tightening of labor-market conditions.
In today's buyback, the Treasury Department will accept offers from dealers of up to $2 billion of securities maturing between February 2015 and August 2019. The department is using federal government surplus funds to pay down debt by buying back Treasury securities.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note lately was up 1/32 at 102 26/32, trimming its yield to 6.111%.
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European markets closed down.
was down 15.88, or 0.24%, to 6474.88, while Frankfurt's
was coming off its lows, down 49.39, or 0.70%, to 7050.70.
Across the channel, London's
was off 64, or 0.99%, to 6413.80.
The euro was lately trading down at $0.9524.
Asian markets were mixed overnight in a reversal of yesterday's moves, with Tokyo and Hong Kong lower, and Korea and Taiwan closing up on the session.
Despite a strong start to the day in Tokyo, a bulk sale in September
futures during the last minute of trading left markets slightly lower than Wednesday's close. The
index fell 104.07 points to 17,106.01, while the
index, which includes all shares listed on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange's
first section, shed 8.32 to 1575.63.
In Tokyo currency trading, the greenback was slightly weaker, fetching 105.23 yen. The dollar was recently trading 105.36 yen.
index shed 285.78 points, or 1.8%, to 15,952.36, dragged down by weak bank and property shares.
index gained 0.37 to 782.24, while Taiwan's
index rose 134.17, or 1.6%, to 8771.77.
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