Today's Market: Dow Off Session Lows as Nasdaq Inches Higher - TheStreet

(Updated from 9:55 a.m.)

Broadcom

(BRCM)

added another splash to the confessions bucket late yesterday,

weekly jobless claims

data released this morning showed another increase and May

same-store sales from a bevy of retailers disappointed. All that information had the major indices inching lower at the open, though the Nasdaq was lately positive.

Yesterday's close ended a four-day winning streak for the major stock market averages.

Lately, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 19 points to 11,051; the

Nasdaq Composite Index was higher by about 19 points to 2234; and the broader market

S&P 500 index was down 0.2 points to 1270.

"I think we trade lower due to lack of buyers," said Ray Hawkins, vice president of block trading at

J.P. Morgan

. "I'm not worried that we're really going to fall apart, but the market is a little bit tired, and if there's no leadership from tech, banks or oils, where is it going to come from?"

Stocks were mixed in early trading, with weakness in mobile-phone bellwether

Ericsson

(ERICY)

and tobacco king

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

countered by strength in Broadcom,

Checkpoint Software

(CHKP) - Get Report

and

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

.

Dow component Philip Morris was down and out after a court in Los Angeles ordered the company to pay more than $3 billion in damages to a 56-year-old man with cancer. He claimed the company did not warn him of the health risks of smoking. The company's stock was lately off 2.9% to $48.59 so far this morning.

Broadcom warned after the close of regular trading yesterday that its second-quarter sales will fall by as much as 35% from first-quarter levels. The communications chipmaker also said it will take a second-quarter charge to close plants and lay off workers. But Broadcom, which fell in preopen trading, was lately up by 0.5% to $35.76. Goldman Sachs

cut its estimates on Broadcom several days ago.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending June 2 rose to 432,000, their highest level since September 1992. Economists had been expecting them to dip to 417,000 from the previous week's 417,000. The four-week average rose to 413,500 from 402,500. In May, unemployment slipped to 4.4% from 4.5% in April.

On the retail front, bad same-stores sales news came from the world's largest retailer,

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, the No. 1 apparel retailer

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

,

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

,

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

,

Kmart

(KM)

, and

Ann Taylor

(ANN)

, among others.

Wal-Mart said it expects May same-store sales to be at the low end of its estimates and predicted that unseasonal weather could hurt its second-quarter gross margins; Gap reported a 10% decline in same-store sales and lowered guidance for its second quarter same-store sales; Best Buy said its first-quarter same-store sales should fall 3.1%; Kmart's same-store sales for May were down 1%; Federated saw same-store sales falling 3.3%; and Ann Taylor reported same-store sales of 9.6%.

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

said its same-store sales for May rose 0.9% from a year ago and

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

said its same-store sales for May were up 2.1%. Both stocks were down in early action today, however.

Investors may play it safe ahead of a midquarter earnings update from big daddy chipmaker

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, scheduled after the close of regular trading today. Volume has been thin all week as investors have been waiting on Intel's news. The company is something of a proxy for other tech stocks, and Wall Street wants to hear what it has to say about its

earnings prospects for the second quarter and the rest of the year. Over the past three quarters, Intel has warned of revenue shortfalls. Intel was up 2.3% to $30.48 in early trading.

"Everybody's looking for a little guidance down the road," said Hawkins, who suggested that Wall Street is far more concerned with what Intel will say about the third and fourth quarters than any comments about the second quarter.

The Splash of the Big Fish

So far this confession season, earnings news from big corporate fish has been weighted to the downside.

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

last week warned it would miss its second-quarter targets. Yesterday, PC maker

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

cautioned that a global slowdown in information technology could hurt its revenue. And financial powerhouse

J.P. Morgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

yesterday said its expects revenues for the rest of the year to be lower than first-quarter results because of poor market conditions.

This morning

Goldman Sachs

lowered its earnings per share estimates on Hewlett-Packard for 2001 and 2002.

But there have been

some

encouraging words. Earlier this week, chipmaker

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

and telecommunications equipment provider

Lucent

(LU)

made positive affirmations about the state of their finances.

In April and part of May, investors bet that corporate earnings would begin accelerating again in the third quarter of this year, and they bid stocks up significantly. But a consensus now seems to be forming that a recovery won't happen until the fourth quarter of this year or early next year.

European markets were lower in early trading, with shares inching higher in London and minor losses racking up in Paris and Frankfurt: The London

FTSE 100

was recently down 0.14%, while the Paris

CAC-40

was down 1.15% and Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

was losing 0.55%. Late-day rebounds in both Hong Kong and Tokyo allowed the major market averages there to close higher overnight. Tokyo's

Nikkei 225

ended up 102.67 points, or 0.78%, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

closed up 127.42 points, or 0.94%.

British Tobacco

(BAT)

was a big loser on the London exchange in the wake of Philip Morris' news.

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Bonds/Economy

Treasury prices were inching higher this morning.

The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note was lately lifting 3/32 to 98 3/32, while yields had slipped to 5.251%. Prices on the 30-year note were up 3/32 to 96 4/32, as yields dropped to 5.644%.

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International

European markets were lower in early trading, with shares inching higher in London and minor losses racking up in Paris and Frankfurt: The London

FTSE 100

was recently down 0.14%, the Paris

CAC-40

was down 1.15% and Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

was losing 0.55%. Late-day rebounds in both Hong Kong and Tokyo allowed major market averages there to close higher overnight. Tokyo's

Nikkei 225

ended up 102.67 points, or 0.78%, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

closed up 127.42 points, or 0.94%.

British Tobacco

(BAT)

was a big loser on the London exchange in the wake of Philip Morris' news.

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