Updated from 4:05 p.m. EDT

Stocks ended a mostly quiet day mixed, as tech stocks managed to collect modest gains while blue-chips had to settle for a slightly lower finish.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average with a loss of 40 points, or 0.5%, to 8778. The Nasdaq gained 16 points, or 1.2%, at 1361, and the S&P 500 slipped 2 points, or 0.2%, to 928.

Wall Street got a deluge of technology earnings news Thursday night. In the biggest, Dell Computer ( DELL) matched quarterly estimates and predicted substantially better-than-expected revenue in the current period. Analog Devices ( ADI) also matched second-quarter estimates but predicted an earnings shortfall in the third.

Nvidia ( NVDA) turned in slightly better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, but the result reflected recently drastically lowered estimates. And Autodesk ( ADSK) missed analysts' estimates by a penny, lowered guidance and said it would cut 7% of its employees.

Citigroup ( C) confirmed Friday that Jack Grubman resigned from its Salomon Smith Barney investment banking unit. The telecom analyst had become a lightning rod for investor wrath in the wake of that sector's collapse -- a development neither he nor most of his peers was able to predict.

In a letter released by Salomon, Grubman said "the current climate of criticism has made it impossible to perform my work to the standards I believe the clients of Salomon Smith Barney deserve."

Apparel seller Gap ( GPS) fell 10% to $11.66 following its second-quarter earnings report, which was less than stellar. The company also said preliminary results show August sales being somewhat short of expectations.

Elsewhere, French media giant Vivendi ( V) tumbled more than 9% to $9.76 following several downgrades overseas as concerns over the company's massive debt load and cash position linger.

Morgan Stanley weighed in with reduced expectations for Intel ( INTC). Citing an expectation for prolonged, moderate growth in PC sales, Morgan Stanley dropped its 2003 earnings estimate for Intel to 55 cents a share from 59 cents and lowered its 2003 estimate to 80 cents from 95 cents. The brokerage also took its price target down to $27 a share from $38. Intel's shares were up 0.8% to $18.75.

Separately, Salomon dropped IBM ( IBM) from its recommended list and replaced it with Dell. IBM rose 3.7% to $79.35.

On the economic front, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index slipped to 87.9 this month -- the lowest reading since November -- from 88.1 in July. The reading was slightly lower than analysts were expecting. Consumers felt a little better about their current situation, according to the survey, but the expectations of those polled inched lower.

In another report, the Labor Department said the consumer price index for July rose 0.1%, indicating that inflation remains tame. Excluding food and energy, consumer prices rose 0.2%. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting a 0.2% increase for both.

Additionally, housing starts for July came in a little weaker than expected, falling 2.7% to 1.649 million, according to data from the Commerce Department. On average, economists were looking for housing starts to come in at a pace of 1.669 million.

Treasuries were sharply lower around 4 p.m. EDT. The 10-year note was down 1 3/32 to 100 14/32, yielding 4.319%, and the 30-year slid 1 20/32 to 104 10/32, yielding 5.085%.

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