View Full Version : Dow ends higher on GM sales, U.S. data

July 3rd, 2005, 08:50 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. blue-chip stocks advanced onFriday, helped by evidence of stronger consumer confidence andmanufacturing last month, while General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news)shares climbed after it reported a jump in sales.Still, the Nasdaq's gains were limited by a drop in PixarAnimation Studios Inc. (Nasdaq:PIXR - news) shares, which fell almost 14percent after the company cut its earnings forecast.
Wall Street got good news on consumer confidence for thesecond time this week, when the University of Michigan'sconsumer sentiment index for June exceeded analysts' forecasts-- after the Conference Board's report earlier this week thatits consumer confidence index hit a three-year high. And amonthly report from the Institute for Supply Management showedU.S. manufacturing activity grew quickly in June, easinginvestors' concerns about an economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - news) rose 28.47 points,or 0.28 percent, to end at 10,303.44. The Standard & Poor's 500Index (^SPX - news) added 3.11 points, or 0.26 percent, to finish at1,194.44. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC - news)inched up just 0.41 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to close at2,057.37.
"We've got good economic numbers, strength in the economyand low inflationary pressures," said Tom Schrader, head oflisted equity trading at Legg Mason Wood Walker. "These numbersindicate that the consumer is handling the higher oil prices asbest as they can."
For the week, the Dow ended up 0.05 percent, the S&P 500edged up 0.24 percent and Nasdaq crept up 0.20 percent.
After the closing bell, shares of Boston Scientific Corp.(NYSE:BSX - news) soared 10.6 percent to 29.75 from a Nasdaq close at26.89, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ - news) shares fell 0.6 percentto 64.55 on the Inet electronic brokerage network.
A federal jury in Delaware on Friday found that Johnson &Johnson infringed two of Boston Scientific's patents ondrug-coated stents, Boston Scientific said.
The University of Michigan's June consumer sentiment indexjumped to 96, beating the 94.8 forecast of economists in aReuters poll, according to people who saw the subscription-onlyMichigan report. The reading for May was 86.9.
Analysts had warned that rising crude prices could dampenconsumer spending, as higher gasoline prices eat intodiscretionary budgets.
The Michigan report offered some positive reinforcement ofthe Conference Board's report on Tuesday that its June index ofconsumer confidence rose to 105.8 in June, its highest level inthree years, on consumers' optimism about the labor market.
In another economic report on Friday, the Institute forSupply Management, or ISM, said its index of national factoryactivity climbed to 53.8 in June, well above economists'forecasts of a slight uptick. The ISM said a jump in new ordershelped the manufacturing sector, which overcame the hurdle ofsoaring energy prices.
General Motors stock shot up 1.9 percent, or 65 cents, to34.65 after the world's largest automaker reported that U.S.sales surged 41 percent in June. General Motors credited anaggressive "Employee Discount for Everyone" incentive programfor its skyrocketing sales.
Shares of Ford Motor Co.(NYSE:F - news) rose 0.7 percent, or just 7cents, to 10.31 after the company reported a 1 percentincrease in unadjusted monthly U.S. auto sales. But on anadjusted basis, Ford's U.S. sales of new cars and trucks fellfor the 13th consecutive month in June.
"Autos are doing better as car sales are better," saidLarry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at The Boston Co. AssetManagement. "Oil prices are bouncing back and helping theenergy companies."
On Friday, crude oil for August delivery settled up 2.25at 58.75 a barrel, lifted by short covering before the longweekend for the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Monday. Still,that settlement price marked a retreat from Monday, when NYMEXAugust crude hit a record 60.95.U.S. financial and commodity futures markets will be closedon Monday for the Independence Day holiday.Shares of Dow component Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM - news) rose 1.5percent, or 84 cents, to 58.31, boosted by the climb in crudeprices.The American Stock Exchange index of energy companies(^OIX - news) gained 2.3 percent.PIXAR PLUNGES, XM SURGESIn Nasdaq trading, Pixar shares plunged 14 percent, or6.99, to 43.06 a day after the company cut its forecast onweaker-than-expected DVD sales of its hit film "TheIncredibles."But XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.(Nasdaq:XMSR - news) advanced 3.5percent, or 1.16, to 34.82 after it said on Friday thatsubscribers increased by 640,000 in the second quarter,bringing its listeners to a total of 4.4 million. .Shares of Dow component Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO - news) rose 1.1percent, or 46 cents, to 42.21 on the NYSE. The world'slargest soft drink maker has spent the past year and a halfremodeling to suit consumer tastes.But blue-chip company Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE - news) fell 1.7 percent,or 48 cents, to 27.10 after the world's largest drug companysaid it is dropping development of two drugs.Trading was moderate, with 1.25 billion shares changinghands on the New York Stock Exchange, below the 1.46 billiondaily average for last year. About 1.24 billion shares tradedon Nasdaq, under the 1.81 billion daily average last year.(Additional reporting by Anna Driver and Anupama Chandrasekaranin New York, and Deena Beasley in Los Angeles)

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