Stocks Close Mixed After Choppy Day

The New York market had an erratic session Wednesday and visited both positive and negative territory, but ultimately the major indices closed right at their session lows.
Author:
Publish date:

Updated from 4:18 p.m. EDT

Stocks in New York had an erratic session Wednesday and visited both positive and negative territory, but ultimately the major indices closed near their session lows after a late selloff.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 82.99 points, or 1%, to 7886.57, while the

S&P 500

fell 6.53 points, or 0.8%, to 843.55. The

Nasdaq

tacked on 2.27 points, or 0.1%, to 1646.12.

The major indices gave up 3% to 4% on Monday and then reclaimed about half of that this time, before retreating in the afternoon.

During the trading day, technology stocks were the strongest segment ahead of earnings from

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

and

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

. Both delivered better-than-expected results, sending their shares higher by 2.5% and 5%, respectively, after the regular session.

Earlier,

Sandisk

(SNDK)

shares rose 13.4% to $15.54 after it topped estimates, and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

gained 0.7% to $14.48 after announcing its quarterly numbers and a 5% workforce reduction.

Auto stocks rose early owing to a Goldman Sachs upgrade for the U.S. auto sector to neutral. The analysts also raised

Ford's

(F) - Get Report

rating to buy. Ford's shares were 12.6% higher at $4.28.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

, however, gave up its early gains and ultimately lost 0.6% to $1.69, after

The Wall Street Journal

reported that the automaker's CFO has indicated it won't be able to make its June 1 debt payment of $1 billion.

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

, was the strongest component on the Dow, adding 3.4% to $32.45 a day after its earnings.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

climbed 0.9% to $11.80 following its annual shareholder meeting. GE CEO Jeff Immelt said the recession was "difficult to predict" and that the downturn is the worst since the Great Depression.

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

weighed on financials after it reported that it swung to a first-quarter loss on a rebound in its bond prices. The company also is cutting its quarterly dividend 81% to 5 cents a share. Shares gave up 9% to $22.44.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

shares lost 3.4% to $18.18 after staying in positive territory most of the day following its

quarterly report

. The bank posted a profit of $3.05 billion, in line with its prior forecast, as rising credit losses were offset by a surge in mortgage banking and benefits from the Wachovia acquisition. Revenue came in slightly higher than its forecast at $21.02 billion.

Elsewhere, aircraft and defense products manufacturer

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

missed analysts' profit and revenue expectations and lowered its full-year forecast, but shares rose 1.8% to $37.30.

Continental Airlines

(CAL) - Get Report

posted a narrower-than-expected loss, but its revenue fell 17%. Shares dropped 9.3% to $13.60.

In other earnings, hamburger maker

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

beat on the top and bottom line in the first quarter, as profit increased 3.5%, and

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

reported a better-than-expected profit on sales that were slightly light. McDonald's fell 2.5% to $54.25, however, while AT&T ticked up 1.8% to $25.74.

The dollar was recently weaker against the yen and stronger vs. the pound and euro. Longer-dated Treasuries were falling. The 10-year was losing 11/32 to yield 2.9%, while the 30-year lost 1-2/32, yielding 3.8%.

As for commodities, oil fell 30 cents to settle at $48.85 a barrel, and gold rose $9.80 to $892.50 an ounce.