US stock markets mixed

US stock markets mixed
# 31 August 2009 08:29 (UTC +04:00)
Baku- APA-Economics. Stocks were mixed in early trading Friday as technology shares got a boost from a rosy sales outlook from Intel Corp.
Intel shares rose nearly 5 percent, helping to lift the Nasdaq composite index more than 0.5 percent, after the world’s largest maker of computer chips said it now expects sales of up to $9.2 billion in the current quarter, up from its previous forecast of as much as $8.9 billion.
Intel’s upbeat report came a day after computer maker Dell Inc. posted better-than-expected results for its May-July quarter. While Dell’s sales continued to fall because of reduced spending by consumers and businesses, the company said it has seen signs of improvement.
Despite a rise of nearly 5 percent in the Dow Jones industrials over the past eight days, the market remains cautious. Investors are worried that the market’s huge rally this spring and summer, which pushed stocks up more than 45 percent since early March, may have run its course. Trading has been choppy and volume has been light as summer on Wall Street winds to a close.
In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 17.46, or 0.2 percent, to 9,563.17. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.54, or 0.1 percent, to 1,031.52, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 13.36, or 0.7 percent, to 2,041.09.
Advancing issues were relatively even with decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a light 242.2 million shares, compared with 151 million at the same time on Thursday.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 0.69, or 0.1 percent, to 584.46.
Among the economic data Friday, a Commerce Department report said consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in July, in line with economists’ expectations.
Growth in spending and consumer confidence has been slowed by rising unemployment and weak income growth. Spending got a boost during the month from an increase in auto sales tied to the popular Cash for Clunkers program. Recent economic data has benefited from the government’s various stimulus programs, and investors have been worried about how well the economy will fare without government support.
The latest report also said personal income was flat in July. Economists had expected a 0.2 percent increase. Personal income, which fuels future spending increases, has been hammered during the recession as employers cut payrolls and force workers to take unpaid days off to hold down wage costs.
Intel shares rose 87 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $20.34, while Dell added 78 cents, or 5 percent, to $16.43.
Major indexes edged out gains on Thursday after starting the day lower. The Dow rose for the eighth consecutive day, increasing 37 points, its longest winning streak since April 2007. The market’s five-month rally appears to have lost much of its steam though as analysts say most of the improving economic data has already been priced into stocks.
Bond prices fell early Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.50 percent from 3.46 percent late Thursday.
Oil prices moved higher, rising 29 cents to $72.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The dollar mostly fell against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.
Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.6 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.3 percent, Germany’s DAX index gained 1.6 percent, and France’s CAC-40 climbed 1.8 percent. Source: AP
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