Stocks End Mixed as Recession Eases

News that the longest recession of the post-World War II era may be ending didn’t do much for stocks on Friday, as the major stock indexes closed the day mixed.

Still, it was the best month for stocks since October 2002, and the best month of July in more than a decade.

McAfee (NYSE: MFE) was a winner, up nearly 5% on better than expected quarterly results a day after Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) tumbled on its earnings report.

But other tech names reporting quarterly results saw their shares come under selling pressure.

NetSuite (NYSE: N) fell 13% after missing sales estimates.

Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) plunged 33% on a weak sales outlook and the retirement of its CEO.

Level 3 (NASDAQ: LVLT) remained under pressure following its earnings report, down another 13%.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that the economy contracted by 1% in the second quarter, better than economists expected and the best performance for the economy in a year, but previous quarters were revised lower and consumer spending remained a concern.

Equipment and software spending were down 9% in the quarter — but that was a huge improvement over the roughly 30% declines in the two previous quarters.

The big news next week will be Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) quarterly earnings report on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq lost 5 to 1978, the S&P 500 gained 1 to 987, and the Dow was up 17 to 9171. Volume fell to 5.14 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.29 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 22-13 margin on the NYSE, while decliners led by a few shares on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 68% on the NYSE, and 44% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 118-51 on the NYSE, and 71-15 on the Nasdaq.

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