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Stocks Mixed; Dow Up 16.93

April 7, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks were mixed Wednesday after technology shares, falling on a pessimistic earnings outlook, pulled the rest of the market lower.

At noon on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 16.93 at 9,980.42. Broader stock indicators mostly fell.

Stocks opened strongly today as aluminum maker Alcoa released first-quarter earnings that soundly beat analysts’ expectations. The good news from Alcoa, a component of the Dow, propped up a number of blue-chip companies.

But at midmorning, said William Meehan, chief market analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, many Dow stocks gave up their gains. Alcoa continued to rise, advancing 1 1/2 to 42 9/16, and financial-services companies rose as well. But technology companies began to falter, with IBM falling 3 7/16 to 179 9/16, and Hewlett Packard falling 1 11/16 to 68 5/16.

The problem, Meehan said, is that stocks are too overvalued to withstand even the slightest hint of caution. ``It doesn’t take much to trigger any kind of stampede,″ he said.

Today’s catalyst was a warning from Merrill Lynch analysts warning of some tough times ahead for the high-tech sector.

But traders were optimistically looking ahead to an after-hours earnings release from Yahoo!, which was expected to beat analyst estimates. Yahoo! rose 1 1/8 to 216.

Revlon rose 2 5/8 to 22 5/8 after the cosmetics maker said it is considering the sale of one or more of its businesses.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 3.12 at 1,314.77, and the Nasdaq composite index, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, was down 46.36 at 2,516.81.

Declining issues were ahead of advancers by a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 376.1 million shares, ahead of Tuesday’s pace.

The NYSE composite index was up 0.40 at 612.72, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was up 0.98 at 716.19.

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