Chevron Drags on Dow; Techs Turn Mixed
Stocks were mixed Friday as a Chevron profit warning exacerbated earnings worries but an upgrade on the hardware sector boosted tech stocks.
In the morning's economic news, the trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly to $26 billionin May, its lowest in 10 years. Meanwhile, import prices rose 3.2 percent in May, while export prices rose 1.1 percent.
And consumer sentiment soured more than expected. The University of Michigan/Reuters consumer-sentiment index dropped to 64.6in a mid-July reading from 70.8 at the end of June. Economists had expected a more modest drop to 70.
Chevron was the biggest percentage decliner on the Dow after the energy giant issued a profit warninglate Thursday, saying second-quarter earnings would be hit by a sharp decline inUS refining margins and that any benefits from higher oil prices were largely offset by a weaker dollar.
Adding to the pressure on the energy sector, oil prices fell below $60 a barrel.
General Motors rose after the automaker announced that it's out of bankruptcymuch sooner than expected— the process has taken just 40 days, even faster than rival Chrysler's 42-day whirlwind trip in and out of Chapter 11.
The new GM, 61-percent owned by the government, will be much leaner, with only its strongest brands, including Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.
AIG is looking for the government's permisssion to resume paying out retention bonuses, on the heels of a warning from Citi that AIG's equity could be worthless. AIG shares fell more than 4 percent premarket.
Cisco rose following news it's cutting between 1,500 to 2,000 jobs.
Techs turned mixed after an earlier boost from a Goldman Sachs upgrade on the hardware. The brokerage raised its rating on the sector to "attractive" from "neutral," citing the potential for the sector to outperform in the typically strong second half.
Among those upgraded were: Dell , Arrow Electronics, Hewlett-Packard and Seagate Technology. The analysts also raised their price target on Apple .
But they cut their ratings IBM and Western Digital.
Alcoa shares were under the gun once again as the company's better-than-expected earnings report couldn't outweight worries over an expected weakness in construction likely to hurt the aluminum giant.
- Peter Schacknow contributed to this report
On Tap for Next Week:
MONDAY: Earnings from Philips Electronics, CSX and Novellus
TUESDAY: Earnings from Goldman Sachs, J&J, Intel and Yum Brands
WEDNESDAY: Earnings from Abbott Labs and Gannett
THURSDAY: Earnings from JPMorgan Chase, Nokia, Novartis, Biogen and IBM
FRIDAY: Earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup, GE and Mattel
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