US Stocks Waver; IBM, Other Tech Stocks Rise

by Matthew Craft
Thursday Jul 19, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks on Wall Street flipped between small gains and losses in early trading Thursday. IBM and other technology companies rose after reporting strong earnings, but economic reports came in weaker than analysts had expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 29 points at 12,937 in the first hour of trading. IBM was the Dow’s top stock, surging 3 percent after posting a 6 percent jump in profits late Wednesday even as its revenue sank. That marked the 38th consecutive quarter that IBM’s net income has increased over the previous year. IBM rose $7.46 to $195.71.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up two points to 1,374. Technology stocks rose more than the rest of the market, sending the Nasdaq composite index up 16 points to 2,959.

eBay jumped 8 percent after the company reported that its second-quarter net income doubled, thanks to higher revenue from its PayPal online payments business and its e-commerce websites. eBay rose $3.52 to $43.98.

The market gave up some of an early gain after a measure of manufacturing in the Philadelphia area came in much weaker than analysts had been expecting. Two other economic reports also released at 10 a.m., homes sales and leading economic indicators, were also weak.

The Dow is now up 1.3 percent for the week. The S&P 500 index is up 1.5 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves:

- Walgreen Co. soared 12 percent, the largest gain in the S&P 500. The Walgreen pharmacy chain and Express Scripts reached an agreement in which Wallgreen will once again fill prescriptions from people in the Express Scripts network. That ended a dispute between the two companies. Walgreen gained $3.80 to $34.75.

- Textron jumped 8 percent after the maker of Cessna planes reported that its quarterly earnings nearly doubled. The results trounced Wall Street analysts’ expectations, thanks to rising demand for its Citation line of business jets and Bell helicopters. Textron gained $1.89 to $25.65.

- Morgan Stanley fell 69 cents to $13.30, a loss of 5 percent. The investment bank’s income and revenue fell far short of what Wall Street analysts were expecting, dragged down by dismal results from trading stocks and bonds.

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