Stocks End Volatile Week Mixed

Stocks ended a volatile week on a mixed note on Friday, as consumer confidence fell to new lows and diplomatic wrangling over Iraq continued into the weekend.

The Nasdaq slipped fractionally to 1340, the S&P 500 tacked on 1 to 833, and the Dow added 37 to 7859. Volume declined to 1.54 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.6 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-14 on the NYSE, but decliners led 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, but only 42% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 43-50 on the NYSE, and 46-56 on the Nasdaq.

Adobe surged 8.2% after topping estimates, despite providing a broad guidance range.

Overture fell 12% on rumors that Yahoo might acquire a European competitor – despite the fact that the rumors were denied by Espotting Media, the rumored acquisition target.

Symbol Tech fell 13% on news of possible SEC charges.

Bluefly surged 22% on another rescue by George Soros.

WebMD beat estimates and raised guidance, but fell 11.5% on valuation concerns. Verity also fell despite beating estimates, and Ameritrade lost 9% on a warning. gained 1.2% as the company expanded its affiliate program to the UK.

Sun , down 2.1%, made a major push into InfiniBand technology.

PeopleSoft , up 1.9%, added IM to its enterprise portal.

SAP gained 2.8% on a change at the top.

Akamai slipped 2.2% on news that it will pay $3.55 million settle a lawsuit.

Citrix rose 1.2% after joining a new mobile alliance.

Netegrity gained 14% on takeover rumors.

Microchip fell 8.4% on negative comments by Merrill Lynch.

Two reports gave conflicting views of the health of the IT industry. IDC said the PC sector is improving, but Fortune 1000 IT managers said they remain cautious.

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