Market Mixed On Busy News Day

Stocks reflected the mixed news reports on Thursday: better than expected earnings and retail sales, negative employment data, and fears that Al-Qaeda may have obtained chemical weapons from Iraq all competed for traders’ attention.

The Nasdaq gained 2 to 1399, the S&P 500 lost 3 to 901, and the Dow fell 50 to 8538. Volume declined to 1.24 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.41 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17 to 16 on the NYSE, but decliners led by a few issues on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 58% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 40-28 on the NYSE, and 39-40 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Adobe topped estimates. EDS surged on a Bank of America deal. Verity topped estimates but announced the resignation its CFO, and Cirrus warned.

During the day, Ciena soared 20% on better than expected results.

Yahoo surged 7% after saying its sees 20% ad growth in 2003. Yahoo is also targeting last-minute shoppers as online sales continue to soar.

Internet Security bolted 10% on an upgrade.

HP rose 3% on a deal with DirecTV and a partnership with NEC .

Qualcomm and Maxim slipped on news of a patent dispute.

Microsoft fell 1% on news of more vulnerabilities. The company also unveiled a new Web service.

Sun , up 1%, also faced a security warning.

AOL slipped on news of more layoffs.

Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics proposed a multimedia wireless standard.

eSpeed rose 9% to a new 52-week high.

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