Finance Markets

May 18, 2006

Wall Street flat after declines

Filed under: Equities, Economy, US

The New York equities markets had moved very little by midday on Thursday after sell-offs on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially flat, losing only 5,52 points to 11,200.09. The Nasdaq Composite was up by just 3.24 points to 2,199.04, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.19 points to 1,269.13.

Gains in the retail sector helped the S&P. Limited Brands was up 5.4 percent to $26.66 after a quarterly report that showed income up 19 percent in the first quarter. The report persuaded Morgan Stanley to upgrade the clothing retailer from “equal weight” to “overweight”. Sears Holdings also revealed a good earnings report, leading to a gain of 12.4 percent to $153.09.

In the steel sector, Nucor was up 1.9 percent to $107.45 after it said it will build a plant in the Western US. US Steel, meanwhile, added 2.2 percent to $65.70.

Burger King added 4.2 percent to $17.72 and more than 15 million shares were traded as the fast-food chain began trade on the stock market.

Pharmaceutical company Merck was up 0.8 percent to $34.62 in anticipation of an advisory committee meeting at the Food and Drug Administration which will look at a drug intended to prevent viruses that are believed to cause cervical cancer.

In the computer sector, Hewlett-Packard was up 2.2 percent to $32.85 on an upgrade from “under weight” to “equal weight” by Morgan Stanley.

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