Stocks End The Week Mixed

Stocks were mixed on Friday, as downgrades, earnings, terrorist warnings and economic data all competed for traders’ attention.

Disappointment over Dell’s in-line earnings, weak manufacturing data and higher than expected producer prices caused an early sell-off, while better than expected consumer sentiment bolstered the bulls’ case.

The Nasdaq was unchanged at 1411, the S&P 500 climbed 5 to 909, and the Dow rose 36 to 8579. Volume declined to 1.4 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.7 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19 to 13 on the NYSE, but decliners led 17 to 15 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 59% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 34-24 on the NYSE, and 55-37 on the Nasdaq.

Dell fell 3.6% after matching estimates and reaffirming guidance, but traders were apparently looking for more. The company said demand appears to have stabilized. Intel lost 2%, and Gateway fell 15% on news of an SEC investigation.

BEA Systems rose 8.5% after beating estimates, while Wind River lost 4.5% after warning.

AOL and Amazon gained in anticipation of a strong holiday shopping season. It was another 52-week high for Amazon and United Online .

Oracle , up 3.5%. continued to add to this week’s OracleWorld gains with an announcement that it had been elected to the IBM-led Eclipse project.

Roxio , up 14%, agreed to acquire Napster’s assets for $5.3 million.

Microsoft , off 0.5%, joined the world of online gaming.

IBM , SGI , Cray and other vendors jockeyed for position ahead of next week’s Supercomputing conference.

In the race for on-demand computing, Sun , up 2.2%, acquired Terraspring.

EDS , off 1.1%, sold a networking unit to Fiserve , which gained 6.7%.

i2 and NVIDIA gained on upgrades. Veritas fell on news of an SEC investigation.

Ciena lost 5.8% after the company said the telecom sector still has more of a shakeout to go through. , up 21% to a new 52-week high, paced a Chinese Web portal sector that has moved higher in recent weeks on better than expected results.

Ask Jeeves , unchanged at 1.62, unveiled a new advertising campaign that will include, of all things, billboards.

Akamai , up 2%, declined to participate in a funding round for spinoff Sockeye.

NextCard filed for bankruptcy protection.

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