Prices were mixed on Wall Street today as the stock market was unable to settle on a clear direction after Thursday's big rally. A profit warning from Caterpillar pushed blue-chip stocks lower, but the Nasdaq composite reached another record high close as technology issues advanced.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31.81 points, to 11,003.89, losing ground after a 152-point surge on Thursday. The Dow ended the week with a gain of 234.57, or nearly 2.2 percent.
Broader market indexes were mixed today. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 2.94, to 1422.00. The Nasdaq composite index rose 22.14, to 3369.25, its 13th new closing high in the past 16 sessions.
The biggest drain on the Dow was Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of heavy machinery. Its shares fell almost 12 percent, or 6-9/16, to 49 3/8, after the company told investors that sales of tractors and other equipment were slower than expected.
Caterpillar said profits should be slightly higher than the 61 cents a share earned in this year's third quarter. But analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 97 cents a share.
The downward pressure on the Dow, however, was tempered by a rise in IBM shares. A bullish analyst's report about IBM's personal computer business helped push its shares up 6 5/8, to 104 5/8.
On the Nasdaq, shares of JDS Uniphase, a maker of fiber-optic equipment, rose more than 5 percent after investor George Soros disclosed that he owned almost 440,000 shares.
Many other Internet shares also closed higher. Vertas Software, which helps companies manage data online, rose 7-15/16, to 146 5/8, after a bullish recommendation from an analyst at Warburg Dillon Reed.
Portal Software, which makes Internet billing software, reported a narrower than expected loss for the third quarter and saw its shares rise 4-15/16, to 96-15/16.
China.com, a Hong Kong-based Internet company focused on electronic commerce, jumped nearly 26 percent, or 24-15/16, to 117-11/16, after its board declared a 2-for-1 stock split. The company is among a host of Chinese businesses expected to benefit from this week's trade deal that will open China's markets to foreign sales and investments.
The stock of MetaSolv Software, a provider of business software for telecommunications companies, nearly tripled after its initial stock sale, rising 36 to 55 in regular trading. But it fell 3/8 in after-hours trading, Bloomberg News reported.