Updated from 3:01 p.m. EST
Stocks eased Friday, but closed well above their session lows, as Wall Street waded through lackluster economic data and largely shook off the latest concerns about terrorism.
Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5.40 points to 9866.99, while the
Nasdaq was down 1.99 points to 1898.58. The
S&P 500 shed 3.59 points to 1138.65.
The averages dropped on news that terminals at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport were evacuated and departures were halted following an incident in which a man fled from security. The major measures recaptured much of their lost ground before the market closed for the day at 4 p.m. EST. Earlier, the market was briefly lifted by unconfirmed reports that a deputy to Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. air raid in Afghanistan.
The Labor Department said consumer prices fell 0.3% in October, reflecting lower gasoline costs. Excluding food and energy prices, the index rose 0.2%. Meanwhile, the
Federal Reserve said industrial production fell 1.1% in October for its 13th straight monthly decline.
After the bell Thursday,
said third-quarter profits fell 36% amid an industrywide slump in PC sales. The results were slightly better than analysts were expecting, although the company warned that industry sales probably would decline further in the fourth quarter. Dell gave up $1.09, or 3.9%, to $26.60.
Crude oil futures were inching higher on hopes their recent plunge would lead airlines and other big consumers to begin stockpiling. But they're still down about 16% this week after OPEC said it wouldn't follow through with production cuts unless they were matched by noncartel members.
Overseas markets were mostly higher, with London's FTSE 100 closing up 1% at 5291 and Germany's Xetra Dax gaining 1.1% to 5063. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index closed up 1.5% to 10,649, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4% to end the session at 11,287.
The 10-year Treasury note recently was losing 25/32 to 101 2/32, yielding 4.86%.