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Stocks Close Lower as Early Rally Fizzles

The market jumped on the NAPM data but couldn't hang on to its gains.

For a while, it looked like stocks were going to kick off the first trading day of August on a strong note, thanks to some market-friendly economic data.

But, of course, by looking at the chart above this sentence, it didn't turn out that way as today's rally fell flat on its face.

Stocks got a nice boost this morning after the release of the July

Purchasing Managers' Index

, which came in lower than economists predicted. The index declined to 53.4 in July from 57.0 in June. Economists were expecting the index to come in at 56.1, according to a



Intraday, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

traded as high as 10,791.60; the

S&P 500

as much as 1344.73; and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

traded as high as 2670.81.

Internet stocks wound up the day getting hammered. Leading Internet Sector

index on the downside was


, which was off 6 3/8 to 94.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners beat advancers 1,733 to 1,215 on 627.7 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers beat winners 2,320 to 1,594 on 748.7 million shares.

On the NYSE, 164 issues set new 52-week lows while 37 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 87 issues set new 52-week highs while new lows totaled 55.

On the Big Board,

America Online


most active with 20.5 million shares changing hands. It was down 2 1/4 to 92 7/8.

On the Nasdaq,



was most active with 38.6 million shares changing hands. It was up 2 5/16 to 71 5/16, thanks to positive talk on the stock from

Salomon Smith Barney


Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup


3:06 p.m.: Small-Caps Slip Into the Red

Small-caps were stuck in the red as the final hour of trading approached while the rest of the market's major averages were modestly higher but off their best levels of the day.

1:53 p.m.: Stocks Up but Off Session Highs

Most major market barometers were solidly higher this afternoon but off their best levels of the session, while breadth was negative.

1:07 p.m.: Midday Musings: Gains Moderate but Stay in Place as Fed Picture Clears a Bit

12:02 p.m.: Strength Remains the Order of the Day for Stocks

Thanks to some friendly economic news, major market gauges were solidly higher, although small-caps were lagging significantly.

While the "big three" major stock proxies -- the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, the

S&P 500

and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

-- were enjoying beefy advances, breadth was less than impressive.

10:56 a.m.: Major Indices Extend Rally on Soft Economic Data

Major market gauges were solidly higher after the release of a lower-than-expected report on economic activity in the manufacturing sector, while the 30-year Treasury bond managed to climb off its intraday lows but remained down on the day.

10:11 a.m.: Stocks Head Higher on Modest NAPM Number

Stocks improved swiftly from their early weakness as a key economic report came in showing slower growth than expected. But the news failed to excite the slumping bond market.