RealTime IT News

Productivity Decline, War Fears Hit Stocks

An unexpected decline in productivity and growing conflict with Iraq and North Korea weighed on stocks Thursday.

The Nasdaq was unchanged at 1301, the S&P 500 declined 5 to 838, and the Dow fell 55 to 7929. Volume declined to 1.38 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.23 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 20-11 on the NYSE, and 18-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 71% on the NYSE, and 51% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 42-96 on the NYSE, and 40-85 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, EDS and Overture warned. Tech Data announced an acquisition.

During the day, Expedia surged 7.3% after beating estimates and announcing a stock split. The stock had initially declined on news of the departure of founder and CEO Richard Barton, but 100% year-over-year revenue growth was too good a story for investors to pass up.

Agilent plunged 24% on a warning. J2 Global gained 2.2% after beating estimates, while Aether fell 8% after missing revenue estimates. United Online slipped 2.8% on better than expected results and in-line guidance.

IBM rose 0.3% after beating out EDS for a Ford contract.

NVIDIA climbed 0.8% after settling a dispute with Microsoft , which climbed 1%.

Oracle , which ended down a penny, won a UK contract.

Level 3 gained 2.6% after winning a contract from eBay .

Ericsson gained 7.6% on news of a new CEO.

Palm , up 1.3%, is a bright spot in PDA sales.

Marvell climbed 0.7% on news of an acquisition.

Rediff.com fell 16% after discontinuing quarterly financial statements.

HP , off 0.8%, made a push for computer equipment recycling.

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