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Mixed-up Monday
Nasdaq edges higher, 3M drags down Dow as gauges see-saw in the wake of last week's big sell-off.
April 18, 2005: 5:51 PM EDT
-- by Katie Benner, CNN/Money staff writer
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Stocks ended Monday mixed on the first day back from last week's sharp sell-off as Wall Street's attempts at a solid bounce were dashed by 3M.

The Dow Jones industrial average (down 16.26 to 10,071.25, Charts) lost 0.2 percent due to a sharp drop in 3M. The stock's more than 6 percent decline was equal to a drop of 36 Dow points and kept the index from moving to positive.

Meanwhile, the broader Standard & Poor's 500 (up 3.36 to 1,145.98, Charts) and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite (up 4.77 to 1,912.92, Charts) added 0.3 percent.

The major gauges all sank nearly 2 percent Friday, bringing the Dow's losses to about 400 points over three sessions. Friday capped the worst week for the index in over two years, while the Nasdaq posted its biggest one-day slide in more than four months.

"Tomorrow will, in large part, depend on the PPI number," said David Briggs, head of equity trading at Federated Investors.

The Department of Labor will release its Producer Price Index report Tuesday, which measures wholesale goods prices. Analysts surveyed by forecast the index will rise to 0.6 percent in March from 0.4 percent in February.

"If the inflation reading comes in high it could really torpedo the markets," said Briggs. "The markets were really bracing for that figure today, going a little higher with the idea that they could really fall tomorrow."

After the bell, tech bellwether Texas Instruments (up $0.16 to $22.92, Research) said its first-quarter earnings beat Reuters' consensus estimates by a penny a share, and issued in line guidance for the second quarter. Shares rallied more than 5 percent in after-hours trading, and the news could boost stocks Tuesday.

Investors will also look ahead to earnings announcements from market-movers Coca-Cola (down $0.32 to $40.97, Research), GM (up $0.59 to $26.19, Research), Johnson & Johnson (down $0.36 to $69.04, Research) and media conglomerate Viacom (down $0.12 to $34.16, Research) before Tuesday's open.

Barely bounced

While most indexes ended the session higher, last week's sell-off created hopes for a bigger technical bounce Monday. But trading was volatile and analysts said stocks did not hit the mark.

"The S&P lost 50 points last week and today we gained back four," said Briggs. "This is not great."

Trading was choppy and market breadth ended the session in positive territory. Advancers beat decliners five to three on the New York Stock Exchange on volume of 1.7 billion shares, while advancers narrowly beat out decliners on the Nasdaq as 1.8 billion shares changed hands.

"If there's no bounce, it's investors saying that the market has not reached a level that accurately reflects what's ahead for the economy and earnings," said Hugh Johnson, head of equity trading at First Albany.

"We have to expect that there are bad things afoot in response to the rise in oil prices," he added. "Prices are down now, but there are leads and lags."

Earnings watch

With no major economic reports due Monday, traders watched earnings closely. This week will be one of the busiest, as more than 400 companies will report results, including 12 of the 30 of the Dow components. (For a special report on earnings, click here.)

Early Monday, Dow component 3M (down $4.96 to $75.90, Research) reported slightly better-than-forecast earnings and said second-quarter results should be at or above the consensus estimates. But the maker of Post-it notes and other products reported sales that missed forecasts, sending its stock down more than 6 percent.

One hallmark of the recent downturn has been a relative insensitivity to good news, analysts said. For example, Friday's rout occurred despite solid earnings announcements from Citigroup (up $0.46 to $46.21, Research) and General Electric. (up $0.25 to $36.00, Research)

"When the markets struggled for a technical bounce in the morning, that was investors sending a message that we're either heading toward an economic recession or toward a profits recession," said Johnson.

"Earnings reports may be positive now, but investors will be very sensitive to any indications that they might not rise in future quarters," he added.

For example, Eli Lilly (up $0.93 to $59.00, Research) saw shares rise after the company said it had edged past analysts' forecasts by a penny. But the drugmaker also said second-quarter earnings would miss Wall Street forecasts, keeping gains in check.

Toymaker Hasbro (up $0.02 to $19.31, Research) reported weaker than expected earnings, sending shares lower.

In positive news, Bank of America, (up $0.45 to $44.73, Research) the nation's No. 3 bank, reported better-than-forecast earnings, and its stock edged higher.

Market movers

Elsewhere, computer document company Adobe Systems (down $5.89 to $54.77, Research) agreed to buy multimedia software firm Macromedia (up $3.27 to $36.72, Research) in a $3.4 billion stock deal. Adobe shares sank just over 9 percent, while Macromedia rallied 9.8 percent.

Chip stocks got a lift from analyst upgrades, with Wells Fargo upgrading Intel (up $0.09 to $22.21, Research) to hold from sell, and Deutsche Securities upgrading Applied Materials (up $0.36 to $14.86, Research) to buy from hold. The upgrades boosted the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (Charts), which ended the day up 1.4 percent.

Video-game retailer GameStop (up $2.10 to $23.71, Research) saw shares settle up 9.7 percent, off intraday highs near 15 percent. The company said it will buy rival Electronics Boutique (up $14.09 to $55.21, Research) for $1.37 billion. Electronics Boutique shares rallied 34.3 percent.

Fiber-optic cable company Corning (up $0.46 to $11.56, Research) saw shares rise more than 4 percent after raising its quarterly earnings guidance due to higher-than-expected demand for hardware and equipment products.

U.S. light crude for May delivery lost 12 cents to close the session at $50.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In global trade, Asian-Pacific stocks tumbled with the Nikkei share average falling 3.8 percent. European shares also fell on concerns over a slowing U.S. economy.

Treasury bond prices edged lower, with the yield on the 10-year note hitting 4.26 percent from about 4.24 percent late Friday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

COMEX gold gained $2.50 cents to $429.00 an ounce.

The dollar lost ground on the euro and edged higher against the yen.  Top of page


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