MARKET CLOSE: CPI numbers boost blue chips

3 min read

A tame Consumer Price Index report helped lift blue-chip stocks Wednesday but technology stocks retreated. The Dow Jones industrial average moved up 66 points to 10,687.95 while the Nasdaq composite shaved off 53 points to 3,797.58.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose slightly -- up 0.1 percent in May, less than the 0.2 percent increase expected. The tame data failed to excite investors though, perhaps because of rising oil prices.

"The CPI was good news," said Paul Christopher, economist at A.G. Edwards & Sons. "It's pretty clear now that the Fed can go into the June meeting with the leeway to sit on its hands for at least another six weeks and give their previous rate hikes a chance to do their job."

Intel (INTC) shares fell 5 1/16 to 126 7/16 while Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and IBM (IBM) lost 5 5/16 and 3 7/16 a share, respectively.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) moved up 1 1/8 to 46 3/16; Apple Computer (AAPL) fell 4 1/16 to 90 7/16; Gateway (GTW) dropped 2 13/16 to 51 1/4 and Compaq (CPQ) closed off 7/16 to 25 11/16.

Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS) fell 9/16 to 15 after saying its second quarter sales decreased due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, but earnings had increased to 24 cents a share. The results met First Call Corp. estimates.

Micros Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCRS) tumbled 7 3/16 to a 52-week low of 18 7/16 after it said revenue and earnings for the fourth fiscal quarter will be below analyst expectations.

Microsoft (MSFT) gained 2 5/8 to 70 1/2. Sun Microsystems (SUNW) inched up 5/8 to 90 11/16 and Oracle (ORCL) closed down 2 11/16 to 79.

CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) dropped 5/8 to 56 after topping analysts' estimates in its third quarter. Fatbrain.com (FATB) slid 1 1/2 to 8 3/16 after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter.

Yahoo! (YHOO) closed unchanged at 139 1/2. America Online (AOL) moved up 3/8 to 52 while Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) dipped 2 9/16 and 5 1/4 a share, respectively. Lycos Inc. (LCOS) trimmed 1/16 to close at 65 1/2.

ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT) a supplier of network equipment, software and integration services, shaved off 3/8 to 78 1/8 after it declared a 2-for-1 split of its common stock.

On the IPO front, August Technology (Nasdaq: AUGT), a company that offers automated visual testing equipment that detects defects in semiconductors, rallied up 3 3/16 to 15 3/16 in its initial public offering.

Rediff.com (Nasdaq: REDF), an India-related portal, charged up 7 5/16, or 61 percent, to 19 5/16 in its debut.

America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL), up 1 3/4 to 53 3/8, will develop a set-top box featuring personal television services from TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), which rocketed 11 3/4 to 33 5/16, on the news.