- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street’s performance yesterday was mixed as investors regained a cautious stance after disappointing news from Bank of America and Midwest bank National City, and after another record-breaking tear in oil prices.

Investors were uneasy about extending last week’s big gains after Bank of America said its first-quarter earnings fell 77 percent on write-downs and widening credit losses.

Shares of National City dropped after the bank said it got a $7 billion cash infusion from equity investors, lowered its dividend and posted a $171 million loss for the first quarter.

“The percentage of cash on the sidelines as a percentage of market value is the highest it’s ever been,” said Richard E. Cripps, chief market strategist for Stifel Nicolaus. “We have an acute level of risk aversion by investors — understandably so.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.34, or 0.19 percent, to 12,825.02, after dropping 98 points in early trading. Volume was exceptionally light.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 2.16, or 0.16 percent, to 1,388.17, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5.07, or 0.21 percent, to 2,408.04. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies fell 3.07, or 0.43 percent, to 718.00.

The Nasdaq got a boost from Apple, which rose $7.12, or 4.4 percent, to $168.16 after RBC Capital Markets lifted its price target and predicted strong second-quarter results.

Rising oil prices grounded airline stocks. AMR, parent of American Airlines, fell 57 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $8.20. United Airlines parent UAL fell $1.42, or 6.2 percent, to $21.43.

Bank of America said its profit totaled $1.21 billion, or 23 cents per share, missing estimates. The stock fell 95 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $37.61. National City shares tumbled $2.30, or nearly 28 percent, to $6.03.

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