Stocks Decline Despite Report on Prices
Friday, December 16, 2005
NEW YORK, Dec. 15 -- The stock market moved slightly lower on Thursday as investors consolidated their holdings despite solid corporate earnings reports and the biggest monthly drop in consumer prices in 56 years.
Falling gasoline prices pushed November's consumer price index down 0.6 percent, the biggest one-month decline since July 1949, according to the Labor Department. Investors considered the drop a good omen for the holiday shopping season.
Core CPI, with food and fuel prices removed, rose a modest 0.2 percent, in line with economists' forecasts.
A slight rise in first-time jobless claims also may have dampened enthusiasm on Wall Street. First-time unemployment filings rose to 329,000 last week
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.84, or 0.02 percent, to 10,881.67.
Broader stock indicators also moved lower. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 1.80, or 0.14 percent, to 1270.94, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 1.96, or 0.09 percent, to 2260.63.
Bonds moved lower, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.47 percent from 4.45 percent late Wednesday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies. Gold prices dropped.
Altria Group rose $2.89, to $76.62, after the Illinois Supreme Court threw out a $10 billion judgment over Philip Morris's "light" cigarette marketing.
Lennar rose $2.03, to $62.61. The home builder said fourth-quarter profit rose 53 percent.
Bear Stearns rose $6, to $116.50. The investment firm announced a record quarterly profit.
Goldman Sachs Group fell $1.33, to $128.30. It posted a record 2005 profit but missed analysts' projections.