Stocks Mixed; Dow Up 23.43
NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks were mixed in early trading today as Intel’s disappointing earnings report hurt technology shares. Blue-chips edged higher after a steep decline on Tuesday.
In the first hour of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.43 at 10,440.48. The Dow tumbled 231.12 points Tuesday in the 10th steepest point drop in history.
Broader stock indicators were lower. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 2.27 at 1,310.77, and the Nasdaq composite index was down 18.39 at 2,854.04.
Intel, often considered a bellwether stock for the technology sector, fell 3 to 73 11/16. The company, the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors, said late Tuesday it earned 55 cents a share in the quarter, 2 cents below analysts’ forecasts.
The results surprised many Wall Street investors who have come to expect Intel to meet or beat analyst forecasts. Traders said the report also fostered nervousness about the semiconductor industry, which may face production troubles in the coming months as Taiwan, a major producer of semiconductor parts, rebuilds from a recent earthquake.
The companies that comprise the S&P 500 are expected to post average profit growth of more than 19 percent in the third quarter, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. But with expectations soaring, analysts say the companies that miss Wall Street’s forecasts are in line for harsh punishment from investors.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 108.3 million shares, slightly ahead of Tuesday’s pace.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies slipped 0.75 to 423.93.
Overseas markets were mostly lower following Tuesday’s selloff on Wall Street. Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.9 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany’s DAX index was down 1.3 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 was down 0.8 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was down 1.0 percent.