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March 20, 2006    

Wall Street mixed as techs see gains

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by Elaine Frei

The New York equities markets were mixed on Monday after last week’s gains and ahead of remarks to be delivered by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to the Economic Club of New York later in the evening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1 percent to 11,274.53 and the S&P 500 declined by 0.2 percent to 1,305.08, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3 percent to 2,314.11 on strength in the technology sector.

Software maker Oracle gained 0.9 percent to $13.72 in anticipation of an earnings report due after the close of trade. Elsewhere in the sector, Adobe was up 1.6 percent to $36.55. Adobe is scheduled to release its earnings report on Wednesday.

Another company that helped the Nasdaq to gains on the day was computer maker Dell, which gained 2.3 percent to $29.76 on the announcement that it will increase its number of employees in India to a total of 20,000 within the next three years. Other computer-related stocks were up on the day as well. Microsoft gained 1.4 percent to $27.89, while search engine Google added 2.5 percent to $348.19.

Sirius Satellite Radio gained 4.5 percent to $5.11 on the news that it has now signed up 4 million subscribers and predicted that the number will rise to over 6 million by the end of the year.

In the retail sector, Wal-Mart added 2.3 percent to $47.76 on the report that it will expand its China operations. One company executive said that it will open 20 new stores in the Asian nation this year and could hire as many as 150,000 Chinese employees in the next five years.

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