NEW YORK – Stocks traded in a light, directionless market Friday as job cuts from JDS Uniphase Corp. and weaker-than-expected GDP data offset wireless company Qualcomm's forecast of better profits.
``Clearly, the markets are still churning, coming to grips with the earnings releases. They have been uniformly weak, reflecting a U.S. economy that for all intents and purposes has stalled,'' said Eric Gustafson, portfolio manager at Stein Roe & Farnham, which oversees $7 billion in assets.
But investors also snapped up some beaten-down high-tech shares, encouraged by upbeat reports from the likes of Qualcomm Inc., which squeaked past analysts' forecasts and said it sees better profits and revenues in 2002.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 38.96 points to close the day at 10,416.67 while the technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.77 points at 2029.73.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 3.00 points at 1,205.93.
For the week, the Nasdaq was nearly flat, with a slight gain of 0.02 percent, while the S&P was off 0.4 percent and the Dow slipped 1.5 percent.
Trading was relatively light as investors took a breather at the end of the busiest week of earnings season. About 2,300 companies reported this week, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.
About 1.6 billion shares traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange and 1 billion changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, less than both exchange's average daily volume for June.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product rose 0.7 percent -- well shy of the 0.9 percent economists had forecast in a Reuters survey -- following a 1.3 percent gain in third quarter.
Traders said investors put a positive spin on the GDP numbers, betting the U.S. Federal Reserve will have another reason to cut interest rates for the seventh time this year at the Fed's policy meeting on Aug. 21.
A key measure of U.S. consumer confidence fell in July, as Americans said their current financial picture worsened, hit by a steady drumbeat of corporate layoffs and a flat stock market, market sources said.
Offsetting the dour report, the government said sales of new single-family homes rose in June, as the housing sector showed resilience in a slowing economy.
JDS, the world's top supplier of fiber-optic components, said sagging sales and huge write-downs led to a $50.6 billion annual loss -- perhaps the biggest in North American corporate history and bigger than the gross national income of Hungary.
The company also said it will increase job cuts to 16,000. JDS fell 92 cents to $8.55 and was the most active on the Nasdaq, with 67 million shares changing hands.
Wireless technology company Qualcomm, however, gave investors some hope after it said the deployment of new technology and increased market share in the wireless market will help give its sales and earnings a boost next year. It also matched Wall Street's expectations of a 20 percent drop in earnings that it blamed on soft demand for its chips due to a weaker global economy and on lower royalties and licensing fees.
Qualcomm jumped $3.52 to $63.18.
VeriSign Inc., a domain name manager and a provider of e-commerce services, also gave the market some support. It reported a hefty loss as it wrote down acquisitions made near the peak of the Internet boom, but nonetheless beat analysts' expectations. Its stock climbed $6.93 to $54.10, a gain of almost 15 percent.
Positive news also came from Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, which on Thursday reported a 6 percent rise in second-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street estimates, amid solid sales of its anemia drug Epogen and immunity-boosting drug Neupogen. Its stock rose $3.10 to $60.82.
There was also upbeat news outside the high-tech sector, from the likes of health care giant UnitedHealth Group Inc., which said its profits jumped 31 percent as it collected higher insurance premiums and increased the number of people in its health-care plans. UnitedHealth ticked up 18 cents to $65.19.
Starbucks Corp. fell 29 cents to $18.71 despite a 34 percent jump in earnings as the specialty coffee brewer continued to aggressively expand its global chain.
``There is certainly less bad news out there, and there are incremental positive signs,'' said Noah Blackstein, a portfolio manager at Dynamic Power American Fund, with $230 million in assets. ``People might still decide to wait on the sidelines, but I think we've had a successful test of some intermediate-term bottoms, and we're going to start to move higher.''
Stocks clambered higher on Thursday as investors looked past bad news from computer makers Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., and bet tax refunds and six interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve will boost economic growth and corporate profits.
About fourth-fifths of the companies in the S&P 500 have issued earnings reports so far. Of that total, 56 percent have surpassed analysts' expectations and 14 percent have missed Wall Street's forecasts, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.
Analysts now expect average earnings in S&P 500 companies to rack up a loss of 17.2 percent in the second quarter, Thomson Financial said.
Advancing issues led decliners nearly 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange. The Russell 2000 index fell 0.06 to 485.01.
Overseas, Tokyo stocks eased after Sony Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. announced shockingly soft earnings, sending jitters through the high-tech sector and overshadowing a firmer stance among U.S. stocks.
Sony's shares slumped some 11 percent, and the tech-sensitive Nikkei stock average fell 0.5 percent.
In Europe, Germany's DAX index was up 1.5 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 was up 2.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 was up 2.6 percent.
-- The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.