Stocks Put on Late Rally Caps

The Dow and Nasdaq finish ahead even though investors spent much of the day indecisive.
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Updated from 3:39 p.m. EST

Stocks rallied in the final minutes of trading Friday after spending much of the day in flux, as investors mulled over mixed economic reports and the latest round of profit warnings.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 44.70 points, or 0.5%, to 9811.15. The

Nasdaq was up 6.66 points, or 0.3% to 1953.17, and the

S&P 500 was up about 3.69 points to 1123.07.

Stocks had a muted reaction to separate reports showing an uptick in core consumer prices last month, reduced business inventories, and a small decrease in industrial production. The Labor Department said overall consumer prices were unchanged in November, although excluding food and energy they rose 0.4%. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said business inventories fell 1.4% to $1.16 trillion in October, its steepest drop on record.

Industrial production fell 0.3% last month, while capacity utilization came in at 74.7%.

After the closing bell Thursday,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

said on a conference call that the second quarter marked the bottom for its business and that profit growth will resume in the fourth quarter of 2002. The database software firm posted second-quarter earnings of $549.5 million, or 10 cents a share, matching Wall Street estimates. Total revenue decreased to $2.4 billion from $2.7 billion, falling short of analysts' expectations. The company expects to earn 10 cents a share in the third quarter, a penny shy of the consensus estimate. Oracle's shares lost 10 cents, or 0.7%, to $14.57.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

warned that 2002 earnings would fall short of analysts' expectations. The drugmaker said it expects to earn between $2.25 a share and $2.35 a share next year, well short of the consensus estimate of $2.57 a share. But the company reaffirmed guidance for 2001, saying it expects to earn $2.41 a share, matching the consensus estimates. The stock finished up $1, or 2%, to $50.

Amgen's

(AMGN) - Get Report

negotiations to acquire

Immunex

(IMNX)

reportedly continue. Amgen fell $4.16, or 6.9%, to $56.03, while Immunex gave up 5% to $25.62.

Calpine's

(CPN)

shares were roughed up after Moody's placed the company on review for a credit downgrade. The energy provider lost $2.85, or 17.8%, to $13.20.

Adobe Systems

(ADBE) - Get Report

warned that first-quarter profits will fall short of analysts' expectations at 20 cents to 22 cents a share. Analysts, on average, were expecting a net profit of 23 cents a share for the quarter, according to First Call. The publishing software company posted fourth-quarter earnings of 20 cents a share, a penny shy of the consensus estimate. Revenue for the quarter came in at $264.5 million. Adobe gained $1.20, or 3.9%, to $31.83.

Stocks were mostly lower overseas, with London's FTSE 100 closing down 0.3% to 5061 and Germany's Xetra DAX falling 1.1% to 4909. Japan's Nikkei eked out a gain, closing up 0.8% to 10,512 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.6% to 11,466.

Treasuries were lower. Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year was losing 28/32 to 98 18/32, yielding 5.19%.