A day full of hard-to-handle news knocked equities for a loop, but the major indices managed to finish the week with moderate to solid gains.
Stocks had a lot of factors shoving them backward today, ranging from continuing Asian meltdowns to Iraqi tensions to tech-earnings worries to trade-legislation battles to oh-so-many new jobs. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, which bottomed around 2:25 p.m. EST down 195.48 to 7487.76, came back for a loss of 101.92 to 7581.32. Only
moved up, and not by much. For the week, the blue-chip index gained 139.24, or 1.9%.
Over on the tech-stuffed
Nasdaq Composite Index
, a big sentiment indicator wasn't one today:
leapt 3 13/16 to 77 5/16 on reactions to an upbeat meeting with analysts. Shorts were squeezed after Intel failed to deliver the earnings warning they were expecting, instead saying its inventory problems are starting to shake out. But the chip behemoth's strong recovery from early nervousness -- also sparked in part by positive comments from
Banc America Robertson Stephens
for the rest of the Comp, which plunged 21.04 to 1602.40 (up 8.79, or 0.6%, on the week). Disk-drive stocks did a lot of the damage off a second-quarter earnings warning from
, which plummeted 6 3/8, or 21.1%, to 23 7/8.
As for other major indices, the broad
fell 10.52 to 927.51 (up 12.89, or 1.4%, on the week) and the small-cap
gave up 7.61 to 435.22 (up 1.96, or 0.5%, on the week).
Edward Collins, head trader at
, said he wasn't surprised at the absence of serious buying pressure in what he called an orderly selloff. "I can't imagine anybody wanting to buy anything before the weekend, with all the stuff that's going on," he said. The
House of Representatives
postponed its likely negative vote on the big-business-friendly fast-track trade bill until the weekend, and who knows what mischief that wacky
will get into before Monday?
Also heavy on marketeers' minds is the robust October
, which showed an unemployment rate of 4.7% and 284,000 new nonfarm jobs. The consensus forecast called for 4.8% and 202,000. "It would appear to me that there are some inflationary pressures for the first time in a long time," Collins said -- adding that those pressures aren't of immediate domestic concern. "While the
Bank of England
raised rates the other day and Germany did before, I would think with what's going on in Southeast Asia,
Fed Chairman Alan
wouldn't want to raise rates because of what it might do to their economies."
Rao Chalasani, chief investment strategist at
in Chicago, said he is most concerned about the health of the Japanese economy. The
index dropped 4.2% overnight on concerns about Japanese financial institutions and the continued devaluation of the Korean currency. "They're the second-largest economy," he said of Japan, "and if the stock market is portending that they're going into a recession, it could be a problem."
U.S. equity volume picked up slightly from yesterday, but trading was harshly negative.
New York Stock Exchange
decliners swamped advancers by 2,396 to 533 on 570 million shares. New Big Board lows beat new highs by 60 to 32. On the Nasdaq, 3,334 decliners bashed 1,222 advancers on 687.3 million shares. New Nasdaq lows led new highs by 111 to 64.
Friday's market action
(earnings estimates from
As noted, Intel's good news was mainly confined to Intel. Others were battered by worries about the Asian market, with
down 1 7/8 to 26 1/8,
down 4 3/4 to 112 3/4,
down 1 to 28 5/8 and
down 1 1/4 to 34 7/8. Semiconductor equipment was no safe haven, with
down 3 3/8 to 42 5/8,
down 3 5/8 to 45 5/8,
down 2 7/16 to 38 11/16 and
down 1 1/8 to 35 3/16.
Advanced Micro Devices
joined Intel in the win column, gaining 11/16 to 22 9/16.
As also noted above, disk-drive stocks were demolished by Western Digital's forecast of second-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 30 cents per share. The 15-analyst consensus estimate was 84 cents versus the year-ago 68 cents.
was crushed 5 7/16, or 15.3%, to 30 3/16,
lost 2, or 9.5%, to 19 3/16 and
lost 1 9/16, or 5.6%, to 26 1/4.
There were no bright spots among PC makers, either.
fell 2 3/8 to 78 9/16,
fell 1 11/16 to 61 15/16,
fell 11/16 to 28 1/8,
fell 1 3/16 to 64 1/4 and
fell 1 9/16 to 99 1/2.
Quality Food Centers
hopped 6 7/8, or 13.3%, to 58 1/2 after
agreed to buy it in a $1.7 billion stock deal. Fred Meyer also agreed to buy privately held
from its parent,
Food 4 Less
, for $3.1 billion. FMY added 1 1/4 to an all-time high of 32 3/16.
jumped 2 1/4, or 11.8%, to 21 1/2 after reporting late
yesterday fourth-quarter earnings 2 cents per share ahead of expectations.
slumped 2 13/16 to 38 1/8 after Banc America Robertson Stephens downgraded it to long-term attractive from buy. Other networkers struggled as well, with
down 11/16 to a two-year low of 24 1/8,
down 1 3/16 to 83 9/16,
down 7/8 to 32 7/8,
down 1/2 to 28 1/2 and
down 5/16 to 16 3/4.
eked out a gain of 3/8 to 45 9/16.
Bank stocks finished lower, but off their worst levels of the session.
lost 2 9/16 to 73 3/8,
lost 2 5/8 to 117 7/16,
lost 2 3/4 to 129 1/8 and Dow component
lost 15/16 to 114 3/4.
The concerns over heightened tensions in the Middle East damaged oil-service and drilling stocks, sending
down 2 1/16 to 76,
down 1 9/16 to 64 1/16,
down 2 3/4 to 90 1/4 and
down 9/16 to 57 11/16.
advanced 7/8 to 12 3/4 on the news late
yesterday that it inked a content- and revenue-sharing pact with
. Other Internet-search companies declined, with
down 3 1/4 to 49 1/2,
down 2 to 29 1/4 and
down 1 1/8 to 27 3/8.
Japanese ADRs reflected the blows absorbed by their underlying issues on the Nikkei.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
fell 1 5/8, or 3%, to 52 3/8.
Brazilian stocks took a pounding as the
index fell 6.4%. Bellwether
lost 4 to 55 1/2. Why Whirlpool, you ask? The company today completed the purchase of 33% of its Brazilian partner,
moved up 11/16 to 80 5/16 after
Starwood Lodging Trust
boosted its bid for its former white-knight rescuee to $85 per share, or $10.2 billion. The old bid was $82 per share, or $9.8 billion. Starwood tumbled 1 to 57 13/16.
, which has a differently structured bid of $80 per share, or $9.3 billion, on the table, slipped 1/8 to 31 1/2. (
took a look into the nasty rhetoric flying around the deal in a
bounded 3 3/8, or 13.5%, to 28 5/16 after
NationsBanc Montgomery Securities
said the company stands to benefit from a forthcoming
Federal Communications Commission
report. The firm reiterated a buy rating and upped its price target on WinStar to 60 from 41.
ascended 2 5/8, or 11.9%, to 24 5/8 after reporting late yesterday third-quarter earnings of 9 cents per share. That was 2 cents ahead of the three-analyst view and up from the year-ago 2 cents.
BT Alex. Brown
upgraded the stock to strong buy from buy.
ran up 2, or 11.8%, to 19 1/4 after announcing late yesterday the withdrawal of a planned secondary offering. The company cited market volatility.
gained 1 7/16 to 28 1/4 after withdrawing a registration statement for the sale of 5.75 million shares by existing shareholders. The company cited unfavorable market conditions.
added 13/16, or 9.1%, to 9 3/4 after reporting late
yesterday third-quarter earnings in line with expectations.
SBC Warburg Dillon Read
upgraded Sitel to outperform from neutral.
declined 1 1/2, or 7.9%, to 17 1/2 after losing its licensing agreement for development of a prostate cancer drug with
. Gensia dropped 3/8 to 5 3/8.