A cautious stock market finished the session mixed yesterday as a top-level management shake-up at Boeing pressured blue chips, while technology...
NEW YORK — A cautious stock market finished the session mixed yesterday as a top-level management shake-up at Boeing pressured blue chips, while technology shares saw strong buying.
The Dow fell 3.69 to 10,936.86, failing to top the 3 ½-year high reached Friday, when it rose 107 points. The Dow reached 10,984.16 in intraday trading before moving lower in the final hour of trading.
Profit-taking pushed the Dow lower as Boeing, a Dow component, said Chief Executive Officer Harry Stonecipher was asked to resign by the company’s board for a relationship with a female executive. It is the second major CEO scandal for the aircraft manufacturer in less than 1 ½ years. Boeing, a Dow stock, fell 8 cents to close at $58.30 a share, recovering in the last hour from its session lows.
Microsoft, also a Dow stock, edged up 3 cents to close at $25.47.
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Broader stock indicators gained ground. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 3.19 at 1,225.31, also adding to its multiyear high from Friday. The Nasdaq composite index gained 19.60 to 2,090.21 on the momentum of technology shares.
However, investors were cheered by three separate merger announcements in the financial, defense and communications sectors — a sign of corporate America’s confidence in economic growth. A jump in tech stocks, which had been lagging in the market’s recent rally, reflected newfound confidence on the part of investors.
“If you’re going to go higher, you have to have techs involved, and we’re seeing that,” said Todd Leone, managing director of equity trading at SG Cowen Securities. “Overall, the market seems pretty resilient. It looks like it wants to go to 11,000.”
A late rise in crude-oil futures helped send the Dow off its session highs. A barrel of light crude was quoted at $53.89, up 11 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Bonds rose, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note falling to 4.3 percent, while the dollar rose against most major currencies and gold was up as well.
Analysts noted that investors were attracted to technology shares prior to Texas Instruments’ midquarter earnings update, due after the session, and National Semiconductor’s quarterly earnings on Thursday. While tech stocks have lagged behind the rest of the market, Friday’s strong employment report from the Labor Department and subsequent run-up in stocks encouraged many investors to re-enter the market.
“There’s a lot of money coming back into the market right now,” said Brian Williamson, an equity trader at The Boston Company Asset Management. “What we saw on Friday was encouraging for a lot of people, and it’s great to see us building on that.”
Texas Instruments added 48 cents to $27.37 during the session, then tumbled $1.10 to $26.27 in after-hours electronic trading after it lowered its earnings and revenue forecasts for the current quarter.