NEW YORK – Stocks ended mixed Tuesday as profit-taking took priority over two positive economic reports.
The technology-laden Nasdaq fell 75.49 points, or 3.35 percent, to close at 2,175.54, based on the latest available data. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average gained 33.77 points, or 0.31 percent, at 11,039.14. The broad Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 9.96 points, or 0.78 percent, at 1,267.93.
Sun Microsystems and EMC slumped after Goldman Sachs analyst Laura Conigliaro lowered 2001 and 2002 earnings estimates on the companies, saying there was "no notable improvements in the U.S.'' and citing a slowdown in Europe. Sun was the second most-active traded on Nasdaq, dropping $1.80 to $18.67. EMC skidded $3.11 to $33.99 during the day on news the company plans 1,100 job cuts.
The weak outlook made Wall Street wary of high-priced tech shares ahead of the period when many companies warn their quarterly results may not meet analysts' expectations. This so-called "preannouncement season'' begins in about two weeks.
Business software maker Oracle Corp. declined 90 cents to $15.61. Chip leader Intel Corp. lost $1.25 to $27.85. Computer heavyweight International Business Machines Corp. fell $2.53 to $115.27. Cisco's rival Juniper Networks Inc. surrendered $5.77 to $46.39.
"Investors use the opportunity of an analyst downgrade'' to dump shares, said Ned Riley, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors, which oversees $40 billion. ''There's a fear that preannouncements may bring even more negativism and a less-than-positive outlook for the shorter term.''
In the latest economic reports, the Commerce Department showed personal income rose at a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in April, down from a rise of 0.5 percent in March, while personal spending was up 0.4 percent vs. 0.3 percent in March, in line with expectations of Wall Street analysts.
A second report showed consumer confidence bounced back in May after a sharp decline in April, underscoring increased optimism about jobs and the future of the U.S. economy. The Conference Board said its broad index of consumer attitudes jumped to 115.5 in May, up from an upwardly revised 109.9 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 111.2 reading.
With earnings worries weighing on stocks in the short term, Wall Street didn't take much heart from the latest data on consumer confidence.
Auto stocks were weak following the Commerce Department report. Daimler Chrysler dropped $1.44 to $46.70.
However, General Motors Corp. rose $1.08 to $57.33. The world's top automaker reached an agreement with the main creditor of South Korea's Daewoo Motor to make an offer for assets and related businesses of the bankrupt carmaker.
Among other corporate news, French telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel slipped 70 cents to $27.41 in U.S. trading on reports that it was negotiating to buy floundering U.S. rival Lucent Technologies Inc. for nearly $23 billion
Lucent dropped $1.08 cents to $8.32 on disappointment the proposed deal won't value shares as high as investors had hoped. Sources warned, however, the talks could break down.
"It looks like Lucent is a no-premium deal," said Peter Boockvar, a trader at brokerage Miller Tabak & Co.
Phone giant AT&T Corp. slipped 38 cents to $20.68. The Dow component said it completed its offer to exchange AT&T Wireless Group stock for shares of AT&T common stock, but fewer-than-expected shares were exchanged.
Media company AOL Time Warner Inc. declined $2.53 to $51. Software giant Microsoft Corp., off 57 cents at $70.34, said its MSN Internet unit launched a $50 million campaign to lure consumers from rival America Online.
"I think this is just a pause that will refresh later on for the market," said Steven Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co. "The overall market is holding up quite well."
Declining issues outnumbered advancers 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.01 billion shares, up from nearly 816.1 million in Friday's pre-holiday trading.
The Russell 2000 index was down 6.25 at 502.37.
Overseas, stocks were mixed. Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.26 percent. Germany's DAX index was down 1.55 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 was down 0.44 percent, and France's CAC-40 was down 1.14 percent.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.