Stocks Finished Mixed

Major U.S. stock indexes finished mixed Wednesday, thanks to a late-afternoon selloff and despite some positive economic news.

Only the Dow managed to finish in the black, climbing 19.8 points to close at 9873, a 0.2% gain. The Nasdaq fell an identical amount, 19.8 points, to 1960, a loss of 1.0%. Earlier in the session the Nasdaq inched above 2,000 for the first time in almost two years.

The S&P 500 declined slightly to 1065 from 1067, a drop of 0.2%.

Investors seemed to react positively to a U.S. Labor Department report that nonfarm worker productivity rose in the third quarter faster than at any time in the past two decades.

Though the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished in the red, a number of technology stocks fared well Wednesday. Database maker Oracle gained 4% to $12.90 in the wake of an upgrade to “buy” from UBS.

Server player Sun Microsystems climbed 2 cents to $4.37 per share. At a quarterly customer conference Wednesday, Sun unveiled enhancements to its Java programming tools. The company also announced after trading that it would not join Eclipse, an open-source tools consortium begun by IBM.

Microsoft inched up a penny to $25.67 Wednesday after the software giant announced it would make its software licensing policies less restrictive in the wake of customer requests.

Chip maker Intel Corp. declined 51 cents to $33.34, a drop of 1.5%. The company announced Wednesday afternoon an agreement that would allow its 40,000 resellers to MCI Internet, voice and data services.

Cell phone maker Motorola fell 38 cents, or 2.7%, to $13.67. The company announced Wednesday that its venture capital arm, Motorola Ventures, has invested in Shanghai NewMargin Venture Capital Co. LTD., China’s premier venture capital management fund.

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