NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Hit from all sides by poor corporate earnings, a simmering economic crisis in Asia and warnings about a market correction by Alan Greenspan, Wall Street finished Friday with stock prices narrowly mixed on the day, masking one of the toughest weeks in the market's history.
A day after the Dow industrials lost almost 200 points, the stock market remained extremely volatile, with the blue chip index bouncing around in both directions as various computer buy and sell programs kicked in and investors continued to reel from the previous day's meltdown.
In the end, Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.38 points to 8,937.36. But Friday's gains did little to help the blue chip index, which suffered its worst weekly point loss ever, shedding 400.61 points, or 4.29 percent, over the past five trading sessions. The Dow is 13.01 percent higher for the year.
Losers led gainers 1,808 to 1,105 as 689 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Nasdaq Composite fell 4.23 to 1,930.99. The broad S&P 500 index inched up 1.05 to 1,140.80. The Nasdaq fell 3.87 percent this week but is still 22.97 percent higher on the year. The S&P 500 index also lost 3.87 percent on the week, but remains 17.56 percent higher on the year.
All looked well for the market on Monday, when the Nasdaq Composite scored its ninth record close in a row. But a string of poor earnings reports and two days of congressional testimony by Alan Greenspan, in which the Federal Reserve chairman talked of inflation threats, unsustainable share valuations and an inevitable stock market correction, turned things sharply around, culminating in Thursday's selloff.
John Murphy, market analyst at MurphyMorris.com, said the lack of breadth in the market's rally over the past month should have warned investors that the good times wouldn't last. (399K WAV) or (399K AIFF)
The bond market finished lower, caught between a stock market in turmoil and a sluggish dollar. The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond fell 13/32 of a point in price, for a yield of 5.68 percent.
The dollar lingered in a narrow trading range as the market got used to news of the expected election in Japan of Keizo Obuchi to head the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and almost certainly become the country's next prime minister. The greenback slipped against the German mark.
Uncertainty breeds volatility
Meanwhile in the stock market, investors were unsure what to do a day after the Dow industrials suffered their third-largest loss so far this year. Bargain hunting dominated trading in the early hours of the session, only to give way to more concerns about corporate earnings and further selling around midday. Computer buying programs lifted blue chips back into positive territory in the afternoon.
Internet and technology shares once again were among the most volatile, rising briefly after the market open, then taking a sharp turn for the worse.
Among the losers, shares of Infoseek (SEEK) shed 2-3/8 to 29 after the search engine reported smaller-than-expected losses but a drop in overall traffic.
Rival search engine Yahoo! (YHOO) lost 7-1/4 to 182-1/8 and Lycos (LCOS) was down 6 to 67-1/4. Among online service providers, MindSpring (MSPG) lost 1/2 to 148-1/2 and, on the Big Board, America Online (AOL) tumbled 6-5/16 to 119-3/16. Online book seller Amazon.com (AMZN) slipped 3-3/8 to 124-1/4.
Elsewhere in the technology sector, investors continued to pummel the stocks of companies that delivered disappointing earnings. Shares of made-to-order computer manufacturer Gateway (GTW) tumbled 6-1/8, or more than 10 percent, to 52-5/8 after the company failed to meet market expectations with its second-quarter results. Late Thursday, Gateway said it earned 38 cents per diluted share in the latest quarter, up from 36 cents a year earlier, but a nickel short of market expectations.
Shares of Silicon Graphics (SGI) fell 2-5/8, or more than 18 percent, to 11-1/2 after the computer workstation maker reported a loss that exceeded most forecasts.
Among the day's other newsmakers, shares of PepsiCo. (PEP) rallied 2-3/16 to 39-3/4 after the company announced plans to take its bottling operations public. Pepsi was the most actively traded stock on the NYSE.
And the American Depositary Receipts of Finnish telecommunications equipment maker Nokia (NOK.A) soared 9, or almost 11 percent, to 92 after the company delivered better-than-expected results for the past three months.
Finally, airline stocks got caught in the broad market's turmoil, driving the Dow transports index down 46.36, or 1.37 percent, to 3,336.10. Among them, AMR (AMR), the parent of American Airlines, fell 1-11/16 to 71-1/8, Delta Air Lines (DAL) lost 2-13/16 to 129-5/8, and UAL (UAL), the parent of United Airlines, shed 3-3/4 to 78-1/16.
(Click here for a look at today's CNNfn market movers.)
-- by staff writer Malina Poshtova Zang