New York markets down on corporate reports

| July 31, 2006 | 0 Comments

At midday on Monday, Wall Street was running behind due to less than desirable corporate earnings reports as well as investor uncertainty about events in the Middle East. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were each 0.2 percent lower at mid-session, to 11,194.88 and 1,275.46 respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 0.3 percent to 2,088.29.

Among the companies issuing disappointing quarterly reports were Avon and Tyson Foods. Cosmetics maker Avon was down 9.3 percent to $29.75 after it said its profits dropped by 54 percent in the second quarter. It blamed most of the decline on costs incurred during a restructuring. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods reported that it lost $52 million in the second quarter, more than had been expected. Tyson dropped 2.3 percent to $14.23.

On the other hand, health insurer Humana added 5.3 percent to $54.28 on a quarterly report that was better than had been expected.

Office Depot also had an earnings report, issued on Friday, that topped analyst estimates. By noon on Monday the office supplies retailer had added 5.4 percent to $36.20.

Coal producers were also having a good day after Merrill Lynch said that there would be more demand for coal as other energy sources cost increasingly more. Peabody Energy was 6.2 percent higher to $48.89, while Arch Coal added 7.2 percent to $37.18.

On reports that it might be purchased by Grupo Mexico, miner Phelps Dodge gained 7.2 percent to $87.40.

Computer makers were mixed on the day. Dell was 2.5 percent lower to $21.66. On the other hand, Apple Computer added 3.6 percent to $67.96 after it was upgraded from “neutral” to “buy” from Bank of America.

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