- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street finished mixed yesterday as uncertainty over the situation in the Middle East and a disappointing earnings report from Citigroup gave traders little impetus to buy after last week’s sell-off.

With violence in Israel and Lebanon continuing into a sixth day and no resolution in sight, the markets remained wary despite a sharp drop in oil prices. A barrel of light crude settled at $75.30, down $1.73, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. economy continued to show strength, with industrial production rising 0.8 percent in June, according to the Federal Reserve, far better than the 0.4 percent economists expected. That encouraged investors who had feared the economy would have trouble withstanding high energy prices and higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.01, or 0.07 percent, to 10,747.36. The Dow slid 3.17 percent last week.

Broader stock indicators were narrowly mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 1.71, or 0.14 percent, to 1,234.49, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.37, or 0.02 percent, to 2,037.72.

While the Fed’s overall production data was strong, a report by the New York Federal Reserve showed slower-than-expected manufacturing growth in New York state. The Empire State Index fell to 15.6 in July from 29 in June. Economists expected the index to fall to 20.

The conflicting manufacturing reports did little for the bond market, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note steady at 5.07 percent from late Friday.

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