July 24, 2009

Nasdaq streak ends as markets flatten

Problems in the technology sector were too much for Nasdaq to overcome, ending its 12-session winning streak Friday, while other markets posted small gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial average, capping its best two-week stretch since 2000, rose 23.95 points, or 0.3 percent, to 9,093.24. It came one day after the Dow's best close of the year.

On Friday, the Dow got a push from gains by Alcoa, Merck and Pfizer.

Nasdaq was tripped up by Microsoft's decline and Amazon's 7.9 percent drop in shares and closed down 7.64 points, or 0.4 percent, at 1,965.96.

The S&P 500 rose 2.97 points, or 0.3, percent to 979.26.

Some traders said that they were wary about Friday's session, given the string of tepid earnings reports from Microsoft and others, but the market was more resilient than expected.

Treasury prices slipped Friday. The 10-year note was down 3/32, yielding 3.67 percent.

The dollar was weaker versus the euro and Japanese yen, though it managed to gain versus the British pound. The euro rose to $1.4222 from $1.4194 Thursday. The dollar fell to 94.817 yen from 95.05.

Asian markets closed higher with Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rising 1.6 percent to 9,944.55 and Hong Kong's Heng Seng index up 0.8 percent to 19,982.79.