US stocks end mixed, DJIA tops record close

US stocks end mixed, DJIA tops record close
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First Published: Wed, Apr 18 2007. 02 56 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Apr 18 2007. 02 56 PM IST
New York: The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above its closing record for a time on 17 April, abetted by Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson and on optimism about upcoming earnings from International Business Machines and Intel.
But TD Ameritrade, Fair Isaac and Time Warner all had a tough time.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 52.58, or 0.41%, to 12,773.04. The industrial average touched 12,790.02, topping its 20 February record close of 12,786.64, and has now risen 12 of the last 13 sessions. The momentum put one of the Dow’s 30 members at a record closing high on 17 April, McDonald’s with a gain of 91 cents, or 1.9%, to 49.01.
The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.38, or 0.05%, to 2,516.95. The S&P’s 500 Index rose 3.01, or 0.2%, to 1471.48, within 56 points of its record close of 1,527.46, from 24 March 2000. The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 6.16, or 0.06%, to 9,631.69, a record closing high.
Investors were pleased with the latest round of economic news and “the first-quarter results and outlooks we’re beginning to see are pretty healthy so far,” said Georges Yared, chief investment officer, Yared Investment Research. “This is making investors feel confident about continued growth.” Coca-Cola gained 1.30, or 2.6%, to 51.57, its highest close since 10 June 2004.
The beverage giant reported a 14% rise in first-quarter net income, topping Wall Street’s expectations for the sixteenth consecutive quarter, aided by markets like China, Russia and South Africa, and strong growth in volume of th e company’s no-calorie soda Coke Zero.
Johnson & Johnson advanced 1.53, or 2.4%, to 64.55, its 10th rise in as many sessions. On 17 April, the health-care conglomerate reported first-quarter earnings dropped 22% due to a charge for the acquisition of a heart-device maker, but the recent acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer health-care unit helped push sales up 16% and the company boosted its forecast for 2007 earnings excluding charges.
Investors were upbeat ahead of after-the-closing-bell reports from tech titans IBM and Intel. Big Blue rose 94 cents, or close to 1%, to 97.12 and Intel (Nasdaq) advanced 29 cents, or 1.4%, to 20.98. IBM’s net rose 8% to $1.84 billion, boosted by sales of services and software. Revenue rose 6.6% to $22.03 billion. Intel’s net grew 19% as sales edged lower to $8.85 billion.
Black & Decker rose 3.65, or 4.4%, to 87.37. The maker of power tools and home improvement products raised its first-quarter profit target on the back of strong international demand for its primary offerings and other accessories. Home improvement product retailer and Dow industrial Home Depot gained 88 cents, or 2.3%, to 39.44.
TD Ameritrade (Nasdaq) lost 1.56, or 9.2%, to 15.31. Earnings fell 18% in the latest quarter and the discount broker lowered its target for full-year earnings as it braced for weaker-than-expected investor activity. Fellow-discount broker Charles Schwab (Nasdaq) dropped 46 cents, or 2.4%, to 19.05 after posting a 12% increase in quarterly net income.
Fair Isaac lost 3.47, or 8.6%, to 37.08, the Big Board’s third-biggest percentage decliner. The provider of credit scores for lenders cut its fiscal second-quarter and 2007 outlook, not because of subprime fallout, but due to organizational issues.
Time Warner lost 27 cents, or 1.3%, to 20.87. Senior executives are looking at the possibility of reducing the media giant’s cable holdings - a core part of its operations and currently its biggest source of profits - because of the medium’s murky outlook as viewers switch to the Web, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 1.58 billion shares. Up volume beat down by 784 million to 761 million, and stocks that fell in value exceeded those that rose, 1,698 to 1,613.
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First Published: Wed, Apr 18 2007. 02 56 PM IST
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