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New York markets down ahead of rate decision

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by Elaine Frei

At midday on Wednesday the New York equities markets were down as investors awaited the latest decision by the US Federal Reserve on where interest rates are headed. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly steady, down only 2.39 points to 11,637.38, the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.4 percent to 2,328.74 and the S&P 500 was down by 0.2 percent to 1,322.80.

Comptuer networking equipment maker Cisco Systems was down 2.5 percent to $21.13 on a disappointing fourth quarter revenues prediction. The decline came despite a quarterly report that was better than had been expected.

In the semiconductor sector, Micron Technology was down 4.4 percent to $16.49 after Infineon announced that it will spin off its memory chip unit and list it on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. Infineon’s announcement comes shortly after rumors that Intel will be spinning off its flash-memory unit.

Still in computer-related stocks, software company Symantec added 3.8 percent to $17.74 after better than expected quarterly figures. Meanwhile, Chinese search engine Baidu.com jumped 27.3 percent on a first-quarter report that showed revenue up 196 percent and profit up 76 percent, a great deal more than had been expected.

Disney announced that quarterly profits were up 12 percent, sending its shares up 1.3 percent on the day to $29.95 despite revenue figures that were not up to predictions.

On the announcement that it has increased its holdings in the London Stock Exchange to 24.1 percent, Nasdaq added 0.3 percent on the day to $38.45. Its rival for control of the LSE, the New York Stock Exchange, gained 2.2 percent to $71.80.

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News posted: May 10, 2006

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