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Markets & Stocks

A struggle at the open
Major gauges decline, led by technology weakness, as Republican convention kicks off.
August 30, 2004: 9:45 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Stocks declined early Monday in light summer trading as investors eyed mixed reports on personal income and spending and the start of the Republican National Convention.

The Nasdaq composite (down 6.70 to 1,855.39, Charts) slid about 0.5 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average (up 21.60 to 10,195.01, Charts) was little changed and the Standard & Poor's 500 (down 1.90 to 1,105.87, Charts) index declined modestly.

Trading is always light in late summer, but that's bound to be exacerbated this week due to the convention, which starts Monday and runs through Thursday. Due to crowds and security concerns, many New York-based Wall Street professionals are on vacation this week or are working from home.

In the morning's economic news, government reports on personal income and spending showed that income barely budged in July while spending rebounded after June's weakness.

Personal income rose 0.1 percent in July after rising 0.2 percent in June. Economists surveyed by expected income to rise 0.5 percent, on average. Personal spending rose 0.8 percent in July after falling a revised 0.2 percent in June. Economists thought it would rise 0.7 percent.

In corporate news, Accredo Health (ACDO: down $7.42 to $20.38, Research, Estimates) warned that fiscal 2005 earnings would sharply miss estimates due to lower reimbursements from government insurers.

The company, which provides treatment options for people with chronic illnesses, also reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that rose from a year earlier, but investors focused on the warning and shares tumbled sharply.

Light crude oil futures edged up in electronic trading. Brent oil futures didn't trade due to a holiday in England.

Stock Exchanges

Treasury prices rose, pushing the 10-year note yield down to 4.21 percent from 4.22 percent late Friday. The dollar declined against the euro and edged up against the yen.

COMEX gold gained $2.90 to $408.30 an ounce as jittery investors poured money into the safe-haven commodity.

In global trade, Asian markets closed mostly lower Monday. European markets were mixed at midday.  Top of page

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