Markets & Finance

Earnings Warnings Push Stocks Lower


Stocks finished lower Monday, after earnings warnings from high-tech and other companies fueled uncertainty about an economic recovery.

Among the companies signaling lower profits were chip-equipment maker DuPont Photomasks Inc. (DPMI) and upscale retailer Neiman Marcus Group Inc. (NMG.A). Shares of DuPont Photomasks lost more than 11%, while Nieman shed more than 1%.

The market also still felt the impact of Friday's tech losses. "There's still a little carryover from last week, when, obviously, a couple of the technology companies disappointed investors," Ned Riley, chief investment strategist, State Street Global Advisors, told Standard & Poor's research unit.

"Actually, I think the market is performing fairly well, considering that this is the most volatile and dangerous period during the quarter," because "companies are rushing to the confessional" to issue profit warnings, Riley added.

Among the stocks in the news Monday, software maker Peregrine Systems Inc. (PRGN) said it has agreed to buy rival Remedy Corp. (RMDY) for $1.08 billion in stock and cash, as it moves to expand its reach to small and medium-sized businesses.

Also, Warnaco Group Inc. (WAC), maker of Calvin Klein jeans, Speedo swim wear and other apparel, said it had filed to restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to debt obligations, the slowing economy, and increased competition.

Missing Monday was key economic data, expected later this week including retail sales, the Producer Price Index, Consumer Price Index, the University of Michigan Sentiment index, which could determine how much the Federal Reserve cuts rates at its late June meeting. (For a complete calendar of this week's key economic releases, click here.)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 54.91 points, or 0.50%, to 10,922.09. The Nasdaq Composite was off 44.32 points, or 2%, to 2,170.78. The broader S&P 500 index shed 10.57 points, or 0.84%, to 1,254.39. Semiconductors, biotechs, financials, and drugs were among the losers.

Treasury Market

U.S. Treasuries ended higher in a flight to safety. Traders contacted by S&P's research unit said small-lot buying and stock weakness were sufficient to spark the rally in Treasuries, with volumes reflecting short-covering. No major economic data reports were expected Monday.

World Markets

European markets ended lower. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index lost 90.10 points, or 1.51%, to 5,860.50. In Germany, the DAX Index was off 24.47 points, or 0.40%, to 6,162.74. In France, the CAC 40 shed 21.46 points, or 0.39%, to 5,418.47.

In Asia, markets finished lower, on the heels of weak GDP data and Friday's earnings warning from network-equipment maker Juniper Networks. The Nikkei lost 203.74 points, or 1.52%, to 13,226.48. In Hong Kong, the market lost 133.40 points, or 0.97%, to 13,675.49. By Heesun Wee in New York


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