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Thursday 28th of August 2008
October 31, 2006

Consumer confidence figures hurt Wall Street


by Elaine Frei

Wall Street was flat to slightly lower at mid-session on Tuesday on new data showing that US consumer confidence dropped to 105.4 in October, down from a revised reading of 105.9 in September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.3 percent lower to 12,048.71, while the Nasdaq Composite was virtually flat after losing only 0.06 points to 2,363.71 and the S&P 500 fell 0.28 percent to 1,374.1.

In the tobacco sector, Altria fell 0.3 percent to $81.43 on the day that its Philip Morris division argues in front of the US Supreme Court in appeal to an $80 million verdict against it in an Oregon case.

Marathon Oil dropped 2.1 percent to $83.49 on profit taking even though it reported that profits were significantly higher in the quarter.

A UBS downgrade to “neutral” sent Verizon 2.6 percent lower to $36.66.

Proctor and Gamble dropped 0.9 percent to $63.21 even though profits were better than expected on improved margins and better sales in its Gillette unit.

Among gainers on the day was DaimlerChrysler, which added 4.1 percent to $57.33 on reports that it could sell its Chrysler division.

Celgene added 6.1 percent to $52.88 after an announcement Monday evening from Standard & Poor’s that the biotechnology company will replace AmSouth Bancorp on the S&P 500 after trade closes at the end of the week.

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