- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) Technology selling pressured stocks yesterday, resulting in a mixed market despite strong gains in the financial and energy sectors.
Analysts said investors were consolidating their gains from the recent tech rally. They also attributed some of the losses to Wall Street's unwillingness to leave too much in the market until the signs of a recovery become more definite.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 72.10, or 0.7 percent, at 10,070.49, its fourth straight advance and first close above 10,000 in a week and a half.
Broader stock indicators were split. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 6.64, or 0.6 percent, at 1,149.56, but the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index lost 21.87, or 1.1 percent, to 1,982.89.
"Tech stocks have run up a long way from Sept. 21. The concern is that … perhaps the valuations have gotten ahead of themselves," said Richard A. Dickson, technical analyst at Hilliard Lyons. "If that's the case, perhaps it's time to take some profits."
Motorola fell 85 cents to $15.76 on news it is trimming another 9,400 jobs. The company has now shrunk its work force by 32 percent 42,900 jobs through layoffs and 5,500 through sales of businesses since August 2000.
Other tech issues were weak, too. Intel dropped 76 cents to $33.05, while Ciena lost 86 cents to $14.61.
Wall Street seemed more interested in buying non-technology issues. Energy-related stocks advanced after reports that American officials had boarded an Iranian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. ExxonMobil rose 80 cents to $38.35.
Financial stocks were stronger, too, reflecting Wall Street's hopes that the sector will improve early in a recovery. American Express rose $1.22 to $34.60. General Electric gained $1.06 to $40.78.
Citigroup got an additional lift after announcing it is spinning its Travelers Property Casualty insurance business into a separate company to better focus on faster-growing financial services. Its stock gained $1.90 to $50.00.
Also yesterday, Wall Street got a better-than-expected report on leading economic indicators. The Conference Board said economic fallout from the terrorist attacks was fading.

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