- The Washington Times - Monday, August 15, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks gained slightly yesterday as crude-oil prices slid and technology stocks rose.

Wall Street crept forward as oil prices wilted from last week’s record highs, falling more than $1 a barrel in midafternoon trading. A barrel of light crude settled at $66.28, down 59 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Technology was one of the stock market’s strongest sectors. Agilent Technologies Inc. rose $3.92, or 15 percent, to $30.33 after it said it will sell its chip unit to two buyout firms for $2.66 billion. Apple Computer Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. also boosted the sector.

Volume was light. After the market seesawed last week to the barest of gains, the August doldrums descended on Wall Street yesterday. With earnings season winding down and no dramatic economic releases for the day, traders had little to motivate them.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.07, or 0.32 percent, to 10,634.38.

Broader stock indicators were also slightly lower. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 3.48, or 0.28 percent, to 1,233.87, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.14, or 0.47 percent, to 2,167.04.

Bonds fell, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.28 percent from 4.25 percent late Friday. The dollar was up against the euro. Gold prices were lower.

In company news, Agilent, which makes electronic test and measurement products, said it plans to use proceeds from the sale of its chip unit and other assets for a $4 billion share repurchase program.

Apple rose $1.58 to $47.68 after Piper Jaffray named it as top large-capitalization pick for the rest of 2005. Texas Instruments rose 41 cents to $32.20, and Qualcomm rose 67 cents to $41.46.

Earnings at Lowe’s Cos. Inc., the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer, were 20 percent higher than a year ago. Lowe’s shares rose 70 cents to $65.89 after the company’s second-quarter profit surpassed Wall Street’s forecast by 3 cents per share and the company said its third-quarter earnings would be higher than analysts’ current estimates.

Time Warner Inc. rose 26 cents to $18.50 after financier Carl Icahn disclosed that he and a group of investors bought $2.2 billion in shares of the company and will press it to shed its cable TV unit and embark on an buyback of $20 billion of its own shares.

British Airways PLC rose 44 cents to $53.11 after it resumed all scheduled domestic and European flights yesterday and said fewer than 200 passengers remained stranded after last week’s ground-crew walkout disrupted the travel plans of some 100,000 fliers.

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