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US Stocks End Mixed, With Amazon.com Soft, But CA Shining February 2, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Stocks ended mixed, with Amazon.com and Wendy’s International dropping as profits plunged, Standard Pacific helping to spur a roof-raising rally for home builders and CA continuing its comeback.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.19, or 0.16%, to 12653.49, ending a four-day upward run. The Dow did rise for the week, though, by 1.3%, its best weekly advance in 11 weeks.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 7.50, or 0.3%, to 2475.88, having gained every day of the week. The gains added up to a 1.7% advance for the week.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 2.45, or 0.17%, to 1448.39. For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.8%, its best weekly performance in roughly six months.

The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index shed 2.45, or 0.03%, to 9325.24.

“There was some mixed emotion over the nonfarm payrolls report,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. “The January numbers were weaker than expected, reminding investors that perhaps economic momentum is weakening. But with all the upward revisions from the past couple of months, the report made the economy still look very healthy, without much inflation. As a result you had sort of a mixed market as investors took away different interpretations.”

Amazon.com dropped $1.31, or 3.4%, to $37.39 on the Nasdaq. The Internet retailer, which has invested heavily in new initiatives to foster expansion, eased its spending growth in the fourth quarter as revenue rose 34%, due largely to strength in its core business. But net income fell 51% over the quarter, hurt by higher taxes.

Wendy’s International lost 73 cents, or 2.2%, to 33.11. The significantly downsized fast-food chain said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 90%, and revenue dropped to $596.4 million from $602.9 million, ending an eventful year for the company.

Standard Pacific gained 1.95, or 7%, to 29.72. The home builder said cancellation rates declined in the fourth quarter compared with the third, while orders in California and certain other areas rose. The news helped rally other home builders, with Hovnanian Enterprises gaining 1.81, or 5.2%, to 36.98; KB Home rising 1.09, or 2%, to 55.64; and Pulte Homes advancing 1.18, or 3.5%, to 35.10.

CA rose 1.69, or 6.8%, to 26.69. The former Computer Associates International, getting back on track after a $2.2 billion accounting scandal, saw fiscal third-quarter net income fall 12% because of expenses related to job cuts and office closings. But the business-software maker’s revenue rose on strong sales of its enterprise information-technology products.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 1.43 billion shares. Up volume beat down by 783 million to 624 million, and stocks that rose in value exceeded those that fell, 1,928 to 1,366.

By Karen Talley, Dow Jones Newswires

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