Market Slows After 2-Day Rally

Wall Street’s two-day run following the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut ended across the market. Helping offset the high from earlier this week were a pessimistic report for retailers, a sinking dollar and rising oil prices.

While the market was down across the board, the losses were relatively small and Wall Street didn’t give back most of the gains made earlier this week. The Dow slipped 48.86 points (or 0.35 percent) to 13,766. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 2,654. The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index closed at 9,936 down 34.43 (or .35 percent). And the S&P 500 gave back 10.28 points (or 67 percent to close at 1,518).

Today’s trading was highlighted by mixed news: The National Retail Federation warned this could be the worst holiday season in five years for U.S. retailers. However, Gartner reported that it expects PC sales to grow 12 percent this year and 11 percent in 2008, driven largely by mobile PCs and growth in emerging markets. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the credit crisis has created “market stress,” but offered assurances that regulators would take steps to control the ill effects of the dire mortgage situation.

Based on the positive news from Gartner, bellwether PC stocks gained. Dell closed at 27.85, up 11 points (or .40 percent). HP closed at 50.10, up 32 cents (or .64 percent). Chip-maker Intel was up 13 (.51 percent) to 25.81. And rival AMD rose 1.19 percent to close at 13.35.

Oracle Corp. rose before the bell based on its earnings report. The software maker reported a 26 percent gain in revenue to $4.53 billion. It reported earnings for the quarter of 22 cents a share, beating analyst’s estimates of 21 cents.

Other top technology stocks fell, including Microsoft and Apple.

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