- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil-supply concerns and broker downgrades of blue-chip companies left stocks mixed yesterday, raising doubts that Wall Street’s year-end rally would continue.

Brokerages lowered their ratings on three Dow components — Pfizer Inc., Alcoa Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. — illustrating the difficulties many companies may have in posting strong profits in 2005.

The rise in oil futures — a barrel of light crude was quoted at $42.98, up 44 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange — was prompted by a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and protests in Nigeria that raised concerns about the safety of the world’s oil supply. The gains reversed a four-day downward trend that allowed Wall Street to look past a disappointing job-creation report Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 45.15, or 0.43 percent, to 10,547.06.

Broader stock indicators were narrowly mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 0.92, or 0.08 percent, at 1,190.25, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 3.29, or 0.15 percent, to 2,151.25.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was down 3.18, or 0.5 percent, at 639.03.

While oil prices rose, the dollar also saw pressure owing to news reports that said the Bush administration was considering replacing Treasury Secretary John W. Snow. Mr. Snow was not overly concerned about the weak dollar, and his replacement is considered likely to follow the same policy.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide