Disappointing economic news and a bit of profit taking produced mixed results in Tuesday's stock markets. The Nasdaq inched up to close at its highest level in almost two years in very light trading while the Dow dropped nearly 25 points. Our InformationWeek100 index was off about half a point.
The Conference Board reported Tuesday that December's consumer-confidence index dropped to 91.3 from a revised 92.5 in November--significantly below the 92.3 reading that economists had been expecting. Sales of existing homes unexpectedly fell 4.6% in November. And manufacturing activity in the Chicago region grew at a slower-than-expected pace in December, as measured by the Chicago purchasing managers index.
SBC Communications was among the day's biggest gainers, up 17 cents, or 0.7%, to $26.06. But stocks that lost ground included IBM, which fell 89 cents, or 1%, to $92.63; Intel, which fell 11 cents, or 0.3%, to $32.04; and Advanced Micro Devices, which fell 17 cents, or 1.1%, to $15.11. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock closed at $36.47, up 3 cents, or 0.1%, on very light volume of 45 million shares.
Our InformationWeek 100 index fell 0.59 points, or 0.2%, to close at 315.93, while the Nasdaq rose 3.40 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,009.88. The Dow fell 24.96 points, or 0.2%, to close at 10,425.04, while the S&P 500 rose 0.16, or 0.01%, to finish the day at 1,109.64.