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July 12, 2006    

New York markets lower on tech stocks

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by Elaine Frei

The New York equities markets were lower at midday on Wednesday after the technology sector declined on a fine charged to Microsoft by European regulators. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were each 0.3 percent lower, to 11,097.07 and 1,268.31 respectively. The Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.8 percent to 2,112.71.

Microsoft was down 1.2 percent to $22.82, for a loss so far this year of 12.7 percent, after regulators in Europe fined the company $280 million for not abiding by an antitrust ruling handed down there in 2004. The loss by Microsoft took other tech stocks lower. Adobe Systems dropped 2.5 percent to $28.82, while Dell Computer declined by 3.4 percent to $22.63.

Losses in the semiconductor sector hurt the S&P, as Intel was down 2.1 percent to $18.28 and Nvidia fell 2 percent to $18.77. Sun Microsystems, however, defied trends to gain 2.8 percent to $4.01.

Data storage system manufacturer Network Appliance dropped 5.8 percent to $28.94, bringing its losses in the past two weeks to 16 percent.

In the biotechnology sector, the news was mixed. Genentech was down 3.1 percent to $81.47 even though it surpassed analysts expectations by notching a 79 percent increase in earnings in the second quarter. Despite the positive earnings report, investors worried about sales of the drug Avastin and the delay in obtaining approval for its use in treating breast cancer patients. On the other hand, Genzyme added 8.4 percent to $62.86 on the news that it expects to report a gain of 9 percent in quarterly earnings.

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