Economic Numbers Capture Investor Attention
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The major U.S. indices ended mixed Thursday as investors expressed anxiety over employment numbers due out Friday and statistics that showed the productivity of American workers grew at a slower-than-expected rate in the first quarter while labor costs continue to increase.
The Labor Department reported Thursday non-farm payrolls grew 2.4 percent in the first quarter, lower than the 3 percent economists had forecast. The government also revised productivity numbers for the fourth quarter to show a growth of 6.9 percent. Meanwhile, labor costs jumped 1.8 percent in the first quarter, well ahead of the 1 percent hike expected. Both numbers are closely watched by the Federal Reserve as worker shortages can cause inflation to increase.
internet.com's Internet Stock Index slumped 10.18, or 1.37 percent, to 732.12, the Nasdaq Composite added 13.04 to 3,720.35 and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 67.01 to 10,413.02.
Several Net shares turned in solid performances. They included Inktomi Corp. (INKT) , up 2-3/64 to 147-15/64. The maker of Internet infrastructure software Thursday formed a wireless agreement with Nokia Corp. (NOK) and an advertising agreement with Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK)
Eon Communications (EONC) dove 3-1/16 to 6-1/4. The company, which provides Linux-based Internet and voice communications warned it will lose between 7 and 10 cents in its third quarter. The three analysts who follow the company were forecasting a loss of only a penny.
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