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Nasdaq down, Dow flat
Technology slumps, drags down composite; blue chips end mixed as oil prices hit new record.
June 27, 2005: 6:07 PM EDT
By Alexandra Twin, CNN/Money Staff Writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A tech selloff weighed on the Nasdaq composite Monday afternoon while the broader market churned as oil prices closed at new record highs.

Investors may have also been distracted in anticipation of Thursday's expected interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

As of 6 p.m. ET, Nasdaq and S&P futures pointed to a flat open Tuesday, when fair value is taken into account.

The tech-fueled Nasdaq composite (down 8.07 to 2,045.20, Charts) slipped 0.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average (down 7.06 to 10,290.78, Charts) and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 (down 0.88 to 1,190.69, Charts) index both ended just below unchanged.

A slew of chip, computer software and networking shares led the tech sector lower, while strength in oil stocks and homebuilding helped keep the blue chips almost unchanged.

Oil closed at a record high for the third session in a row Monday, adding to investor uncertainty. Worries about oil prices weighed on stocks last week as well.

Sustained higher oil prices could eventually cut into economic growth, corporate profits and consumer spending.

Tuesday's trade was likely to be affected by the morning's consumer confidence report. The confidence index is expected to rise to 104.1 in June from 102.2 in May, according to a consensus of economists surveyed by

Tech movers

Among tech movers, Apple (down $0.66 to $37.10, Research) took a hit after the Supreme Court ruled that software companies could be held legally responsible if individuals used their products to download songs and music illegally.

Apple also was hurt by an article in financial weekly Barron's that warned that the iPod maker would face increased pressure from the emerging market for cell phones with built-in music players.

SigmaTel (down $3.69 to $18.15, Research) stock plummeted nearly 17 percent after the supplier for iPod Shuffles was downgraded by CIBC world markets to "sector perform" from "sector outperform."

Other iPod suppliers also fell on the news, including PortalPlayer (down $0.91 to $20.08, Research).

A number of chipmakers slipped as well, sending the Philadelphia Semiconductor (down 5.56 to 421.44, Charts) index, or the SOX, down 1.3 percent.

Among other tech movers, Google (up $6.85 to $304.10, Research) jumped, closing above $300 for the first time.

Worried about oil

U.S. light crude oil for August delivery rose 70 cents to settle at $60.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a new closing high. Earlier, crude hit a fresh trading high of $60.95 a barrel.

"Oil is certainly creating some anxiety in the market," said Tom Schrader, managing director of U.S. equity trading at Legg Mason.

However, he said that lately the stock market has not moved for long in any one direction, so there could be a recovery of current levels, particularly depending on how investors react to the week's economic news.

"The economic news coming up this week is interesting but not earth-shattering, and everyone is focused on the inevitable FOMC meeting Thursday," he said.

On Thursday the Federal Reserve concludes its two-day policy setting meeting. The central bank is widely expected to boost rates by a quarter-percentage point to 3.25 percent, its ninth hike in a row.

Stocks took a beating last week, particularly Thursday and Friday, with the Dow tumbling more than 100 points in each session. The declines resulted from a mix of profit-taking after a six-week run up and worries about the escalating price of oil.

Other movers

The rise in oil prices was good news for at least some investors -- namely those who invested in oil-services stocks.

Exxon Mobil (up $1.15 to $59.30, Research) was the Dow's biggest gainer, rising 2 percent. It was one of many that rose in the sector. The Amex Oil (up $11.47 to $909.34, Research) index gained 1.3 percent.

Homebuilders were also up across the board, sending the Dow Jones Home Construction (up $21.25 to $981.38, Research) index up 2.2 percent.

Among other movers, Nike (down $3.58 to $85.77, Research) reported improved fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, which also topped estimates. However, investors seemed to focus on the clothing and shoe retailer's good but not spectacular current-quarter revenue forecast, and sent shares lower.

Myogen (down $0.57 to $6.43, Research) said over the weekend that it would abandon developing further its treatment for patients with advanced chronic heart failure after the drug showed little benefit in a late-stage study. Shares of the biotech lost more than 8 percent, recovering from an earlier slump of more than 22 percent.

Shares of Cardinal Health (down $4.08 to $56.43, Research) fell after the drug company warned that 2006 earnings may come in below estimates, citing stepped-up investments and lower margins from vendors.

Market breadth was negative. On the New York Stock Exchange, losers narrowly edged out winners on volume of 1.36 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners outpaced advancers by four to three as more than 1.46 billion shares changed hands.

Treasury bonds rose, lowering the yield on the 10-year note to about 3.90 percent from 3.92 percent late Friday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and was barely changed versus the yen.

COMEX gold fell 30 cents to settle at $441.70 an ounce.  Top of page


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