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Markets & Finance

Stocks Open Higher


Stocks opened higher on Friday as energy stocks led the way on higher oil prices. Texas Instruments (TXN) raised its earnings outlook, but any gains in semiconductors were offset by Intel, which maintained the midpoint of its third-quarter guidance.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.83 points, or 0.19%, to 10,615.76. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 3.24 points, or 0.26%, to 1,234.91. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 0.72 points, or 0.03%, to 2,166.75.

The price of crude oil futures were up 51 cents to $65.00 a barrel during the morning Friday. Meterologists downgraded Ophelia to a tropical storm, but said it still could be upgraded back to a hurricane, keeping traders wary.

In economic news, total U.S. import prices rose by 1.3% in August. Excluding petroleum, import prices were practically unchanged from July. On a year to year basis prices are up 1.8% excluding petroleum, but up 7.6% including it. Export prices fell by 0.1%.

Texas Instruments raised its third-quarter earnings guidance to between 36 cents and 38 cents, on revenue in the range of $3.48 billion to $3.62 billion. Standard & Poor's raised its estimates for Texas Instruments, but reiterated its hold rating on the stock.

Fellow chip maker Intel (INTC) stayed within its third-quaurter sales guidance. The company said it expects third-quarter revenue between $9.8 billion and $10 billion, with its gross margin percentage at 60%. Standard & Poor's reiterated its hold rating on the stock.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) cut its earnings guidance for 2005 by between 6 cents and 12 cents a share, citing a negative near-term impact from Hurricane Katrina. The company said it expected its 2006 earnings to be largely unaffected by the hurricane.

Treasury Market

Treasury yields pushed only slightly higher following the trade price data, as the data was largely unchanged excluding August's sharp rise in oil prices. The benchmark 10-year yield was trading at 4.11%.

World Markets

European stock markets were trading higher. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 8.30 points, or 0.16%, to 5,349.1.

Germany's DAX index rose 2.52 points, or 0.05%, to 4,995.27.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index was up 13.65 points, or 0.31%, to 4,479.59.

Asian markets finished mixed on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 158.15 points, or 1.26%, to 12,692.04.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 0.40 points, falling to 15,165.77.


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