Stocks End Mixed Amid Intel, GM News

Stocks ended mixed Friday as disappointment over chipmaker Intel Corp.'s (INTC) outlook weighed on technology stocks, but gains in General Motors (GM) pushed the blue-chip Dow slightly higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average (search) closed up 9.61 points, or 0.09 percent, at 10,512.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (search) was down 2.82 points, or 0.23 percent, at 1,198.11. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (search) was down 13.91 points, or 0.67 percent, at 2,063.00.

For the week, the Dow edged up 0.50 percent, the S&P rose 0.18 percent and Nasdaq dipped 0.41 percent. The week's trading was marked by a lack of hard economic news and continued uncertainty over the health of the economy.

Stocks closed the session up from their lows, as buyers moved in late in the day.

"Even though we've been on the canvas for most of the day, in the last half-hour the market has put on a bit of a lift, which before the weekend is fairly impressive," said Al Goldman, chief market strategist at A.G. Edwards.

He added that stocks had been easing the past few days after a rally of several weeks.

General Motors jumped 8 percent, or $2.70 to $34.51, after the United Auto Workers union said it supported negotiations with the world's largest automaker to help cut its massive health-care costs.

Intel's outlook dragged on the chip sector. While it raised its revenue and profit margin forecast for the second quarter, the outlook failed to top already-high expectations by investors.

Shares of Intel were 2.6 percent lower, down 72 cents to $26.98. The Dow component had been climbing since April, rising 25 percent from recent lows.

Investors were concerned that high oil prices, which helped boost the April trade deficit by 6 percent, would further weigh on the economy and drag on stocks. According to the
Commerce Department (search), the trade deficit rose to $56.96 billion from $53.56 billion in March. While that was a smaller increase than expected, oil imports rose to the second-highest level on record — enough to raise concerns that high oil prices would weigh on consumer spending as well as business costs.

Despite Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's (search) relatively positive assesment of the economy on Thursday, Wall Street's economic worries were not assuaged, and many investors were hoping for better news from second-quarter earnings and, ideally, stronger economic data in the weeks ahead.

"The values are no longer there, the economy is slowing, interest rates are taking their toll and are starting to slow economic growth," said Steven Goldman, chief market strategist at Weeden & Co. in Greewich, Conn. "The market is not going to be as resillient; gains aren't as sustainable, action is choppier."

Bonds sold off heavily as investors continued to react to Greenspan's bullish assessment of the economy Thursday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.04 percent from 3.95 percent late Thursday. The dollar fell against most major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Investors' fears were heightened as crude futures held on to a large part of Thursday's sharp gains. A barrel of light crude settled at $53.54, down 74 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange (search). Crude futures were up $1.74 on Thursday.

Shares of Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) also weighed, sliding 4.9 percent after a report that Microsoft Corp. was developing a subscription-based online music service -- a potential rival to Apple's iTunes music store.

Apple shares fell $1.84 to $35.81 after technology news Web site Cnet, citing unnamed sources familiar with the plans, reported Thursday that Microsoft was planning to bolster its own online song store with a new subscription service later this year.

Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, said Apple's stock was weak due to concerns about competition from Microsoft. "Apple is a volatile stock," he added.

Also in the technology sector, Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), maker of Acrobat document-sharing software, slid 4.2 percent, or $1.36, to $31.13. Software maker Macromedia Inc., which is being acquired by Adobe, Friday said it was restating six years of results, cutting its reported earnings from fiscal years 2002 to 2004. Macromedia fell 4.3 percent, or $1.85, to $41.66.

Citigroup Inc. (C ) lost 4 cents to $47.64 after the nation's largest financial institution announced it will pay $2 billion to settle lawsuits related to its handling of the Enron scandal. The money will go to investors who bought Enron stock and bonds, which Citigroup managed. The company said it had enough in its legal reserve to cover the costs.

Brocade Communications System Inc. (BRCD) said the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a formal investigation in to the company's accounting of stock options. The probe, started as an informal inquiry, now allows the SEC to subpoena the company for information. Brocade was unchanged at $4.03.

Toys R Us Inc. (TOY) rose 5 cents to $26.37 after the struggling toy retailer posted a wider-than-expected loss for the quarter, missing Wall Street's estimates by 16 cents per share. Shareholders will vote later this month on a plan to take the company private.

Nortel Networks Corp. (NT) fell 6 percent to $2.64 after it said its chief operating officer and president, Gary Daichendt, had resigned from the telecom equipment supplier over clashing views with Chief Executive Bill Owens.

Dow component DuPont Co. (DD) rose 1.3 percent to $46.93 after J.P. Morgan added the chemical maker to its focus list and set a 12-month price target of $55 on the stock.

Fashion company Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) posted fourth-quarter results that were down sharply, but still ahead of analysts' expectations. Its shares rose 5.4 percent to $42.75 on the NYSE.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was up 0.10, or 0.02 percent, at 626.33.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.28 percent. In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.42 percent, France's CAC-40 climbed 0.73 percent for the session, and Germany's DAX index gained 0.51 percent.

Trading was moderate, with 1.25 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange, below the 1.46 billion daily average for last year. About 1.43 billion shares were traded on Nasdaq, below the 1.81 billion daily average last year. Advancers and decliners were about even on the New York Stock Exchange. Decliners outnumbered advancers by 8 to 7 on Nasdaq.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.