- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 16, 2009


Wall Street posted gains Wednesday, despite layoff announcements and government indicators that show the recession continues.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,029.62, up 109.44 points. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed up 10.56 points, to 852.06, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 1,626.80, up 1.08 points.

The Consumer Price Index report, a key indicator of inflation, declined 0.1 percent last month, according to the Labor Department.

In addition, the Federal Reserve said production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities dropped 1.5 percent in March, after a similar decrease in February. Output last month fell to its lowest level since December 1998, the Federal Reserve reported shortly before U.S. markets opened.

Investors also noted Intel Corp.’s announcement after trading Tuesday that first-quarter earnings were down but that the worst might be over.

“We believe [personal computer] sales bottomed out during the first quarter and the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and chief executive officer.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based, chip-making company reported a 13 percent drop in revenue, compared with the previous quarter, and a 56 percent drop compared with the first quarter in 2008. Its report of $7.1 billion in first-quarter revenue exceeded analysts’ expectations. But the company provided no forecast revenue, which analysts wanted for guidance about upcoming quarters.

Intel stock fell 39 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $15.62 on the Nasdaq at 4 p.m., according to Bloomberg News.

The Fed also on Wednesday reported upbeat news. The agency said the contraction of the economy has slowed across five of 12 U.S. regions.

The report, commonly know as the Beige Book, also stated some regions are stabilizing at a low level.

The Dow on Wednesday ended a two-day slide after five straight weeks of gains.

Announcement of layoffs at Yahoo and UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, before U.S. markets opened was further evidence the global recession is not over.

In overseas trading, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.52 percent, Germany’s DAX declined 0.16 percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 0.48 percent.



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