NEW YORK, JULY 22 -- Stock prices finished mixed in moderate trading today, pressured by inflation concerns, futures-linked selling, profit taking and worries about Persian Gulf tensions.
The Dow rose 2.23 points to close at 2470.18. But losing issues outpaced winners by a margin of 8 to 6 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Broad-market indexes slipped. The New York Stock Exchange composite index eased 0.14 to 173.45 and Standard & Poor's 500-stock index edged down 0.08 to 308.47. The price of an average share fell 3 cents.
On the Big Board, 174,650,000 shares changed hands, compared with 186,570,000 traded Tuesday.
"The market is churning," said Peter Furniss, vice president in equity trading at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. He said equity investors watched bond prices, which retreated, and the dollar, which edged up slightly.
Furniss said stocks drew early support from news that consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in June. The report fell within economists' expectations, even though late Tuesday a rumor had circulated that the rise would be much higher.
"Now a lot of people want to see the government's reports on durable goods orders and second-quarter gross national product," Furniss said. Those reports are due Thursday and Friday, respectively. "There is fear of inflation."
While the news about consumer prices favored the market, participants said futures-linked selling, profit taking and rising Persian Gulf tensions curbed gains.
"People are stepping back in case there is action in the Persian Gulf," said Furniss.
On the trading floor, AT&T was the most active NYSE-listed issue, rising 1/8 to 30 5/8. CMS Energy followed, easing 1/8 to 16.
American Express was third, rising 7/8 to 34 1/2, adding to the 1 1/2-point gain it scored Tuesday after it reported a second-quarter loss that reflected a previously announced after-tax charge of $520 million against the earnings of its American Express Bank Ltd. unit.
Earnings news impacted the prices of several issues. Digital Equipment plunged 6 1/2 to 158 1/2 after reporting an earnings rise that failed to meet Wall Street's expectations.
Other issues fared better. Union Pacific rose 1 5/8 to 81 1/2, Pepsico added 5/8 to 38 3/4, Holiday climbed 1 1/8 to 28 and Newmont Mining rose 2 5/8 to 62 1/2. Morgan Stanley gained 2 1/8 to 69. Its quarterly earnings jumped to $2.46 a share from $1.82 a year earlier.
Sears, Roebuck advanced 1 5/8 to 53. It said second-quarter earnings rose to $1.03 a share from 77 cents a year earlier.