Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street today, barely able to sustain Friday's late rally and eased jitters over Russia's economic and political instability.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,566.61, up 32.96 points or less than a half percent. The Nasdaq fell 6.85 points to 1,790.76. The Dow gained as much as 85 points, a climb that nearly wiped out losses from Friday's plunge, before it sputtered out.
On Friday the Dow plunged 283 points before recovering to close down 77 points. Friday's sell-off was triggered by fear that Russia's devaluation of its currency and the continued Asian crisis were spilling over to Latin America.
Today, Russia's Moscow Times index rose 2.91 percent following the news that President Boris Yeltsin had sacked his prime minister and replaced him with Viktor Chernomyrdin, a seasoned Russian leader. Chernomyrdin is thought to have a better chance of stopping the growing Russian financial crisis. His promotion has helped alleviate some worries that Russia's ailments would drag down global markets.
Today's mixed results on Wall Street are a clear indication that U.S. markets have not turned around fully, according to many analysts.
Arun Kumar, senior U.S. equities strategist at Lehman Brothers, continues to stress that there is no new fundamental market news to drive a turnaround. The Asian crisis is still weighing heavy on U.S. companies worried about lagging profits and Japan has yet to take firm action to stimulate its economy.
Japan's Nikkei Index lost 308.84 points to close down more than 2 percent today at 14,988.
After the market closed, Intel announced that it anticipates a stronger second half of the year and said that so far, all indicators support that view (See related story).
Internet stocks also closed mixed today, with Lycos and CMP Media gaining 4.46 percent and 5.88 percent, respectively. E*Trade, however, closed down 3.64 percent after gaining more than 7 percent Friday, when the online brokerage joined its competitors in rallying to handle the increase in trading traffic brought on by Friday 's stock market.