Blue-chip stocks moved higher Friday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 119 points to 11,027.80. Technology issues made modest gains as the Nasdaq composite picked up 29 points to end at 3,789.42.
"People are just starting to realize that a slowdown in the economy could also mean a slowdown in earnings, and with all the (profit) warnings coming out, people are getting worried," said Edgar Peters chief investment officer, asset allocation at Boston-based PanAgora Asset Management Inc. "They're heading into companies with real earnings."
U.S. wholesale-level inflation in July was unchanged, according to Friday's Producer Price Index report and the core rate matched market expectations. Another set of data on retail sales tempered the equity-market optimism early Friday.
Dell Computer (DELL) shares fell 4 1/16 to 37 11/16 as analysts continue to mull over its recent earnings report.
Apple Computer (AAPL) inched up 1/8 to 47 11/16. Gateway (GTW) gained 13/16 to 61 9/16 and Compaq (CPQ) closed up 5/16 to 31 5/8.
Micron Technology Inc. (NYSE: MU) rose 5/8 to 75 5/8 after PaineWebber started coverage of the firm with a buy rating and UBS Warburg raised its price target.
Intel (INTC) added 1 13/16 to 63 13/16. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) closed unchanged at 57 and IBM (IBM) picked up 1 to 120 3/4.
Microsoft (MSFT) finished down 3/16 to 72 7/16. Oracle (ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) moved up 1 1/16 and 1 3/4 a share, respectively.
Yahoo! (YHOO) lost 11/16 to 128 5/8. America Online (AOL) dipped 1/16 to 51 11/16 while eBay (EBAY) and Lycos (LCOS) trimmed 3/8 and 5/8 a share, respectively. Amazon.com (AMZN) rose 3 1/4 to 33 11/16.
Safeguard Scientifics Inc. (NYSE: SFE) chopped off 1 3/8 to 23 1/2 after announcing its second-quarter income was 2 cents a share, much lower than the 11 cents a share reported in last year's quarter.