Stocks finished mixed Friday, after losses from energy, commodity and cyclical issues. Select tech stocks posted gains on the back of a strong earnings report from computer giant Dell's (DELL ).
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 5.31 points, or 0.46%, to 10,154.05. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5.31 points, or 0.46%, to 1,154.05. The Nasdaq composite index gained 12.92 points, or 0.66%, to 1,976.80.
Crude oil futures recovered from session lows, settling up 13 cents at $48.67 a barrel.
Next week's earnings calendar brings quarterly announcements from Lowe's Companies (LOW ), Agilent Technologies (A ), and Limited Brands (L ) on Monday, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ), Home Depot (HD ), and Staples (SPLS ) on Tuesday, Intuit (INTU ) on Wednesday, and Gap (GPS ) on Thursday. In economic news Friday morning, the University of Michigan sentiment number fell to 85.3 in May, from 87.7 in April. This fell below median expectations.
U.S. business inventories went up 0.4% in March, falling short of expectations, while sales rose by 0.7%. Meanwhile U.S. import prices jumped 0.8% in April, well above the median, while export prices rose only 0.6%.
In earnings news, computer giant Dell (DELL ) announced its quarterly earnings after the close of trading on Thursday. The company posted earnings per share of 37 cents, vs. 28 cents one year earlier, on a 16% rise in revenue. Dell sees second-quarter earnings per share of 37 to 39 cents on a revenue rise of 16% to 18%. The shares moved higher in after-hours trading after posting a slight increase in Thursday's regular session.
Tiffany (TIF ) announced earnings of 27 cents for the first quarter, vs. 25 cents last year, on a 12% rise in net revenues. The high-end jeweler said it sees earnings for 2005 in the $1.45-$1.55 range, on an overall 8%-10% revenue increase. It warned that these earnings may achieve only the lower part of the guidance is same-store sales in Japan fall.
Delphi (DPH ) saw a 74 cent loss for the first quarter, vs. earnings of 9 cents last year. The vehicle electronics maker blamed high commodity costs, low production volumes, and the impact from the inability to record a non-cash deferred tax benefit of U.S. losses.
Graphics card-maker Nvidia (NVDA ) reported earnings of 36 cents per share, vs. 12 cents last year, on a 24% revenue rise. This substantially beat analyst expectations.
Treasuries rallied as investors sought a safe haven. Uncertainty over the path for the economy and concern over the hedge fund industry supported gains, which coincided with afternoon weakness in equities. The yield on the 10-year note finished lower at 4.12%, a three-month low.
"Even though this week's economic data points toward higher yields," says Michael Wallace, global market strategist for Action Economics, "you have a lot of ancillary explosions going off in other markets -- and that is working its way back into Treasuries [as traders] look for safety."
European stocks finished mixed Friday, as oil prices pushed higher overseas. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 6.70 points, or 0.14%, to 4,886.50. Top laggards included BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Antofagasta. Old Mutual was sharply lower following news that it might make a bid for Swedish company Skandia.
Germany's DAX index rose 8.65 points, or 0.20%, to 4,275.70. Infineon, Siemens, and Suess MicroTec all posted gains on the back of Dell's strong earnings report. Companies rising on strong earnings reports included Salzgitter and Fuchs Petrolub. Meanwhile, ThyssenKrupp fell on weaker-than-expected earnings.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 2.24 points, or 0.06%, moving to 4,017.89.
Asian markets finished mixed Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 28.83 points, or 0.26%, to 11,049.11, following Wall Street's losses from Thursday. Nippon Oil fell by 2% on weaker oil prices. Konica Minolta also fell after it announced a 7.7% fall in its operating profit. Chipmaker Tokyo Electron rose by 2.2% after reporting strong annual earnings.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 101.47 points, or 0.73%, to close at 13.866.81. The day's losers included Cosco Pacific and Esprit.