Stocks fall on earnings, election uncertainty, but end week mostly unchanged


Associated Press

NEW YORK — Another earnings warning — this time, from BellSouth — sent prices lower on Wall Street today. Dejected investors, focusing on high-tech issues, followed a now-familiar pattern and turned against any company expected to deliver disappointing earnings.

But the market was also looking for a reason to buy. Prices surged after a court ruling in the presidential election recount raised hopes of a resolution, but the rally quickly faded when investors realized the deadlock remained.

"This was a very difficult day," said Bob Dickey, chief technical analyst at Dain Rauscher. "The market was very volatile and ended up chopping back and forth, but basically in the end it didn’t lose too much ground, which is actually a good sign of some stability."

Indeed, the major indexes ended the week little changed, despite the market’s seeming mood swings and heavy trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which closed down 26.16 at 10,629.87 today, finished the week up 26.92, or 0.3 percent.

Broader indicators showed even less change. The technology-dominated Nasdaq composite index slipped 4.69 to 3,027.19 today and closed down 1.80 for the week despite a 133-point loss on Thursday.

The Standard &amp Poor’s 500 index fell 4.60 to 1,367.72, gaining 1.74 for the week.

BellSouth’s stock sank $4.50 to $42.50 after the company warned its 2001 earnings would be lower than expected because of the costs of expanding its wireless business.

The warning was the latest in a series of similar predictions by big firms. The cautionary outlooks have been compounded by the Federal Reserve’s announcement this week that it still sees the risk of inflation in the economy, and investors have reacted to the dreary predictions by selling.

Fiber optics company Broadcom tumbled $11.50 to $133, extending its $25 loss from the day before.

Among blue chips, banker J.P. Morgan slipped $3.88 to $144.16 and American Express fell $1.69 to $56.06.

But investors were bullish on some name-brand technology companies. Intel ended the day up $1.50 at $41.50; IBM rose $4.56 to $102.50.

For an eighth session, uncertainty about the presidential election’s outcome plagued the market.

Early in the day, stocks shot up after a Florida judge ruled that late votes did not have to be included in the state’s recount, but the enthusiasm didn’t last. And a ruling late Friday by the Florida Supreme Court forbidding the state from certifying any election results until "further order of this court" made hope of a quick resolution even less likely.

Analysts said naming a new president may help ease some of Wall Street’s volatility and make investors more comfortable about committing to stocks, but it won’t be a panacea for the market’s problems. They said slowing economic and corporate growth, along with European currency woes and oil prices, still remain serious obstacles for a yearend rally.

The month of November historically has brought the start of a rally to Wall Street, but a solid advance remains elusive. Since Oct. 18, the Dow has risen more than 1,000 points only to give back about half of that gain.

"It’s clearly not a ‘Brave New World’ once we clear the elections," said Bryan Piskorowski, a market analyst with Prudential Securities. "We still have to face the Euro and energy, and that’s going to impact all these stocks."

Advancing issues led decliners by a 12-to-11 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.06 billion shares, compared with 935.74 million shares in the last session.

The Russell 2000 index rose 0.97 to 482.61.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX index was down 1.31 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 was rose 0.2 percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 1.9 percent.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read