Stocks Close Down, but Above Session Lows

Officials confirm that anthrax killed two post office workers in the nation's capital.
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Updated from 3:43 p.m. EDT

The major averages closed lower Tuesday, but off their worst levels of the session, as the latest anthrax news compounded an already grim earnings outlook.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 37 points, or 0.4%, to 9340. The

Nasdaq dropped 4 points, or 0.2%, to 1704, and the

S&P 500 was off about 5 points, or 0.5%, to 1085.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 gained 2.4% to 5193, while Germany's Xetra DAX moved up 1.8% to 4704. Japan's Nikkei finished 2.8% higher to 10,862, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 4.3% to close at 10,220.

Telecommunications equipment maker

Lucent

(LU)

reported a third-quarter loss of $909 million, or 27 cents a share, wider than the consensus loss estimate of 23 cents a share. The company also took a restructuring charge totaling $8 billion. The stock fell 20 cents, or 2.9%, to $6.70.

AT&T Wireless

(AWE)

posted a third-quarter profit of 3 cents a share, ahead of analysts' estimates of a loss of 2 cents a share. But the company set plans to exit the fixed wireless business and take a $1.3 billion charge in the fourth quarter. The company's shares rose $1.15, or 8.9%, to $14.09. Drugmaker

Pharmacia

(PHA)

fell $4.26, or 9.7%, to $38.50 despite beating Wall Street's forecasts by a penny. The company earned 41 cents a share in the third quarter, a 23% increase from a year ago.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, rebel forces launched an attack on the Taliban while U.S. forces continue bombarding terrorist positions. The Taliban maintains that Osama bin Laden is still alive. In Washington, the deaths of two postal workers have been confirmed as resulting from anthrax exposure.