It was mixed day of trading Wednesday as the three major U.S. stock indexes started strong, sputtered in midday and rallied in the afternoon.
In the end, though, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was unable to sustain upward momentum, finishing at 2115, down 1 point, or 0.05 percent. The Dow Jones retained enough of its afternoon ascent to wrap up trading at 10473, a gain of 17 points, or 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 finished at 1217, up 1 point or 0.1 percent.
Much of the interesting action in the tech sector occurred after the trading bell. Research in Motion Ltd.
, maker of the popular BlackBerry wireless device, saw shares drop in after-hours trading after reporting second-quarter net earnings of $111 million, or 56 cents a share, an increase of 57% from $70.6 million, or 36 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted net income of 61 cents a share met analyst expectations, but RIMM forecast Q3 net profit of 62 cents to 68 cents a share, versus street predictions of 66 cents a share. During regular trading hours, RIMM fell 18 cents to $77.25.
Open source software maker Red Hat Inc.
after hours Wednesday reported Q2 net earnings of $16.7 million, or 9 cents a share, up 42 percent from $11.8 million, or 6 cents a share, in Q2 2004. Revenue was $65.7 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $65 million and per-share earnings of 7 cents. RHAT was down 42 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $16.51 during Wednesday session trading.
Wednesday’s volatility may have been a market reaction to the indictment by a Texas grand jury of House Majority leader Thomas Delay, who is being charged with conspiring to violate campaign election laws.
Online search leader Google
fell $7.94, or 2.5 percent, to $306 per share in Wednesday trading. Software giant Microsoft
gained 33 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $25.67. Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems
climbed 20 cents, or 1 percent, to $17.92, while Internet auction company eBay
dipped 18 cents, or 0.5 percent, to end at $38.93.
In other economic news Wednesday, the Commerce Department announced that durable goods orders rose 3.3 percent in August, exceeding predictions by economists of a 0.7 percent hike. Durable goods orders fell 5.3 percent in July.
Editor’s note: There will be no technical analysis today.