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Stocks Mixed in Early Trading

October 2, 2001

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks were little changed in early trading Tuesday, as investors digested an earnings warning from Compaq and awaited a Federal Reserve meeting that could bring the ninth interest rate cut of the year.

In the opening minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 5 at the 8,842 level.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell almost 2 to the 1,037 level, while the Nasdaq composite index was up less than a point at 1,038.

The Fed was expected to announce in midafternoon whether it would again cut interest rates in hopes of stimulating an economy weakened by business losses and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Market watchers, however, say Wall Street is ultimately more interested in third-quarter earnings reports, which are due out this month.

Prior to the attacks, those results were expected to be poor, and now it’s anticipated they will be even more dismal. Compaq, which late Monday became the most recent company to warn that its earnings would be hurt by the sluggish economy and Sept. 11 attacks, fell 52 cents to $7.81 in early trading Tuesday.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average gained 1.7 percent. In Europe, Germany’s DAX index fell 0.7 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 was down 0.5 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was off 1.2 percent.

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