Philadelphia semiconductors index drops 1.5 percent

The New York equities markets were lower on Monday on interest rate concerns, as well as on investor reaction as companies begin to release their quarterly reports. At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.8 percent lower to 12, 463.87, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1 percent to 2,427.37 and the S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent to 1,422.24.

The semiconductors sector was lower, sending the Philadelphia semiconductor index down by 1.5 percent and hurting the Nasdaq. After a report that Sun Microsystems is thinking about using chips from Intel as well as from Advanced Micro Devices, Intel dropped 0.1 percent to $20.84, while AMD fell 2 percent to $17.37. Sun added 0.1 percent to $5.78.

The Dow was hurt after Boeing dropped 3.3 percent to $85.69 after Wachovia reduced its recommendation on the aircraft manufacturer from a�?outperforma�? to a�?market performa�?. The Dow also suffered after pharmaceutical company Pfizer fell 1.4 percent to $26.83 after it released its earnings report, which was helped by the sale of its consumer health unit to Johnson & Johnson for $16.6 billion in December.

Citigroup, also listed on the Dow, added 0.9 percent to $54.98 on the announcement that it will purchase ABN Amroa��s mortgage division for around $3 billion. In addition, the bank said that its chief financial officer will leave that position to take the post as chairman and chief executive of its global wealth management division.

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