Stocks Move Lower; Dow Down 41.53
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks fell this morning as a weak profit report from a leading software company aggravated worries about how well U.S. companies will weather the economic turmoil in Asia.
At 11 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 41.53 at 8,069.31, recovering from an early 85-point slide.
Broad-market indicators also trimmed their early losses. The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index was suffering the most damage, down 15.96 at 1,635.58, as investors bristled at a discouraging profit report from Oracle late Monday.
The database software company, whose shares tumbled 9 5/16 to 23 1/16 as the most active Nasdaq issue this morning, disclosed that profits for its latest quarter had risen just 4 percent, well below analyst expectations.
Oracle attributed the weakness to the economic crisis in Asia and unfavorable exchange rates, warning that those problems may continue to hurt earnings over the next six months.
The news weighed down the technology sector, which has been battered repeatedly since late October amid concerns about the group’s considerable interests in Asia. IBM was down 1 11/16 at 111 3/16 as the Dow’s biggest decliner today.
Meanwhile, in another unsettling development on the earnings front, Hilton Hotels warned late Monday that its fourth-quarter results will be below forecasts due to sluggish growth in its casino business. Hilton’s shares sank 1 7/8 to 27 3/8 as the most active issue on the New York Stock Exchange.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by an 8-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 164.58 million shares, up from Monday’s lackluster pace.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 list was down 5.08 at 977.29, the NYSE composite index was down 1.88 at 511.56, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 1.98 at 671.51.
Overseas, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average rose 3.4 percent. In afternoon trading, Frankfurt’s DAX index was down 0.9 percent and London’s FT-SE 100 was slightly higher.