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August 16, 2006    

New York markets gain on inflation data

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by Elaine Frei

The New York equities markets were higher by midday on Wednesday as new economic data showed that inflation is not growing as quickly as anticipated. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were 0.4 percent higher at mid-session, to 11,279.17 and 1,290.83 respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.7 percent to 2,129.77.

The semiconductor sector saw gains, with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange’s semiconductor index up over 7 percent since the beginning of the week. Broadcom was 5.7 percent higher to $29.49 after the announcement that the International Trade Commission has extended an investigation into patent infringement by Qualcomm. Despite the continued investigation into the allegations, however, Qualcomm was up 3 percent to $36.51 on comments from Merrill Lynch.

Elsewhere in the sector, PMC-Sierra added 6.1 percent to $5.92 on the news that a company in Taiwan said it would use PMC processors in its internet telephone service, while Xilinx gained 7.5 percent to $22.19 after it said Tuesday night that it had found no evidence of fraud in its practices of granting stock options.

Homebuilders were higher even though new housing starts were down in July. DR Horton was up by 3.3 percent to $21.38, while Toll Brothers gained 3.5 percent to $25.39 and Pulte added 4.3 percent to $29.56, all helped by falling yields on 10-year bonds.

Coal stocks were up on comments by a stock commentator, with Arch Coal 4.3 percent higher to $36.19 and Peabody Energy up by 6 percent to $47.38.

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