Wall Street staggered through another volatile session Wednesday, closing lower after a Federal Reserve report showed some economic growth...
NEW YORK — Wall Street staggered through another volatile session Wednesday, closing lower after a Federal Reserve report showed some economic growth at the end of 2007 and after Intel’s disappointing profit report.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 34.95 to 12,466.16. Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, fell 77 cents to close at $33.23 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained $2.01 to $79.87.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index declined 7.75 to 1,373.20, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 23.00 to 2,394.59.
Stocks gave up a modest rally in the final 20 minutes of trading, continuing the fluctuations seen throughout the session as investors pored over corporate profit reports and economic news that supported varying views about the soundness of the economy.
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Stocks initially gained after the Fed report suggested economic activity increased modestly from mid-November through December, though at a slower pace than in a previous survey.
The report seemed to quell some concerns about prospects for the economy that had taken on fresh urgency after Intel issued disappointing earnings after the closing bell Tuesday.
Predictions by some economists that a recession is at hand have rattled Wall Street,
“I think the market is trying to find some kind of a correction point,” said Subodh Kumar, global-investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Assoc. in Toronto. “The talk on Wall Street has been about recession. Maybe the beige book has underscored that the U.S. is in a slowdown but that it doesn’t look like a precipitous one.”
Intel failed to meet forecasts for the fourth quarter and reported first-quarter projections at the low end of analysts’ predictions. It was by far the biggest decliner on the Dow, falling $2.81, or 12.4 percent, to $19.88.