Mixed earnings keep investors guessing Dow up 11


April 15, 1993|By Bloomberg Business News

NEW YORK -- Stocks eked out a small gain yesterday as investors were torn by a mixture of positive and negative earnings reports and by more signs that interest rates are going lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11.61, to 3,455.64, closing below its session high of 3,461.59. The average got a lift from gains in Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Advancing common stocks led declining issues by a slim margin, as gains in automobile and electrical equipment shares offset losses in aerospace and retail groups.

The Standard & Poor's 500-Stock Index fell 0.56, to 448.66. The Nasdaq Combined Composite Index advanced 0.11, to 673.94, and the American Stock Exchange Market Value Index was up 0.01, at 420.52.

"There are major cross-currents in this market," said Michael Metz, investment strategist at Oppenheimer & Co.

"The market is absolutely unforgiving when a company reports disappointing earnings, and when good earnings are reported, investors yawn," Mr. Metz said. "This means the market is getting near a top."

Shares of companies like State Street Boston Corp. and NetWorth Inc. plunged after they released negative earnings reports, Mr. Metz said.

Simultaneously, shares of Waste Management Inc. and Digital Equipment Corp. rose only modestly after they released stronger-than-expected financial results, he said.

"The market is split down the middle, as people attempt to figure out which way interest rates are going to go over the longer term," said John Conlon, managing director at Rothschild Inc.

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