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Thursday 20th of November 2008
April 11, 2006

New York markets lower


by Elaine Frei

By mid-session on Tuesday, the New York equities markets were lower, at least partially due to crude oil prices that were up yet again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 0.4 percent by midday to 11,095.95. The Nasdaq, hurt by lower prices in the semiconductors sector, had declined by 1 percent to 2,310.05. The S&P 500 was down 0.7 percent to 1,287.05.

The oil sector was higher on the surge in crude oil prices, with ConocoPhillips adding 1.4 percent to $67.60.

Higher commodities prices also helped aluminium producer Alcoa. The rise in metals prices were instrumental in a much higher than predicted 50 percent increase in profits in the first quarter. Also helping to send shares in Alcoa up 6.1 percent on the day to $34.83 were target share price increases for the company from Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman brothers. Alcoa’s success also helped its rival, Alcan, to gain 1.7 percent to $51.36.

While the semiconductor sector as a whole was down 1.4 percent on the Amex, Micron Technology, the largest chipmaker in the US, added 1.7 percent to $15.16 after it released a better than expected quarterly earnings report.

Among banks, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs both saw losses on the day after employees from both banks were charged by federal prosecutors with insider trading. Merrill Lynch dropped 1.1 percent to $78.06 and Goldman Sachs was down by 1.2 percent to $160.52.

Bosch & Lomb declined by 17 percent to $47.67 and was downgraded by several ratings agencies after the news that it has had to suspend shipments of its ReNu contact lens solution with MositureLoc after some uses of the product suffered fungal infections.

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