Profit-taking sent stocks modestly lower yesterday after oil prices topped $55 a barrel and a disappointing earnings update from Texas Instruments...
NEW YORK — Profit-taking sent stocks modestly lower yesterday after oil prices topped $55 a barrel and a disappointing earnings update from Texas Instruments cast fresh doubts on the tech sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24.24 to 10,912.62.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, slipped 7 cents to close at $25.40 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, fell 15 cents to $58.15.
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Broader stock indicators were moderately lower. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 5.88 at 1,219.43, and the Nasdaq composite index lost 16.66 to 2,073.55.
In a session with little economic or earnings news, the sharp rise in oil prices dominated trading. Crude-oil futures rose above $55 for the first time in more than four months before slipping lower at the end of trading. A barrel of light crude settled at $54.59, up 70 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
“Because of the lack of other news, oil becomes the big news,” said Brian Bruce, director of global investments at PanAgora Asset Management in Boston. “In aggregate, there’s generally been more good news than bad news. But with nothing else going on today, you’re seeing oil put a damper on everybody’s enthusiasm.”
Tech stocks slipped after gaining ground Monday, with semiconductor stocks leading the way after Texas Instruments cut its earnings forecasts. That led investors to worry about increasing inventories and lagging sales in much of the tech sector.
Anticipation of Texas Instruments’ mid-quarter update fueled buying on Monday, but the electronics manufacturer disappointed Wall Street by trimming the top end of its profit and revenue forecasts for the current quarter. Texas Instruments lost $1.03 to $26.34.