MARKETS

Investors Run Out of Enthusiasm

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Associated Press
Friday, February 10, 2006

NEW YORK, Feb. 9 -- Stock markets closed mixed Thursday after investors' enthusiasm waned over a six-year low in unemployment claims and strong corporate earnings.

While weekly first-time unemployment claims rose slightly, Wall Street was initially encouraged after the Labor Department said the four-week moving average of claims, an indicator of the labor market's health, fell to its lowest since April 2000.

Positive earnings reports from Best Buy, Marriott International and Aetna encouraged buyers for much of the session.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24.73, or 0.23 percent, to 10,883.35. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 1.87, or 0.15 percent, to 1263.78. The Nasdaq composite index fell 11.11, or 0.49 percent, to 2255.87.

Bonds climbed higher as the first auction of 30-year Treasury bonds since 2001 was generally well received. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 4.54 percent from 4.59 percent late Wednesday. The dollar was mixed against most major currencies, while gold prices were higher.

Crude oil prices edged higher. The Energy Department reported lower energy stockpiles Wednesday.

Movers

Best Buy rose $4.13, to $52.96.

Aetna rose $3.15, to $99.27.

Marriott International rose $1.53, to $67.64.

Valero Energy fell $2.93, to $52.98.

Exxon Mobil fell 47 cents, to $59.92.

American International Group rose 74 cents, to $67.12.


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© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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