Stocks failed to escape their October slump yesterday as a disappointing forecast from Texas Instruments and the month's biggest jump in oil prices hurt the market.

Technology shares paced the decline along with retailers, brought down by an unexpected drop in consumer confidence to a two-year low.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 2.84, or 0.2 percent, to 1196.54. The Nasdaq composite index, which gets two-fifths of its value from computer-related shares, dropped 6.38, or 0.3 percent, to 2109.45. A gain in DuPont, which announced a $5 billion stock buyback, kept the Dow Jones industrial average from falling further. The measure slipped 7.13, or 0.1 percent, to 10,377.87.

The slide was disappointing after Monday's rally, when the market had its broadest advance in 14 months after President Bush named his chief economist, Ben S. Bernanke, to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The S&P 500 and Dow average posted their biggest gains since April.

The S&P 500 is down 2.6 percent in October, putting it on pace for the worst monthly performance since July 2004.


Texas Instruments, the world's No. 1 maker of mobile-phone processors, fell $2.37, to $28.55, and was the top contributor to the S&P 500's retreat. The company's sales and profit forecasts fell short of analysts' estimates.

Altera, the world's No. 2 maker of programmable semiconductors, slumped $1.30, to $16.43. Technology shares fell 0.7 percent as a group and were the biggest contributor to the S&P 500's loss.

RadioShack retreated 74 cents, to $22.28, as retailers also struggled. tumbled $3.59, to $42.58, in extended trading, after slipping 76 cents, to $46.17, in the regular session. After the market's close, the online retailer cut its full-year earnings forecast.

DuPont rose $1.18, or 3 percent, to $40.80, for the biggest advance in the Dow average. The chemical maker plans to buy back $3 billion of stock from Goldman Sachs Group tomorrow and repurchase $2 billion more starting next year. DuPont also reported third-quarter profit that exceeded estimates.


New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 12.69, to 7361.84.

American Stock Exchange index rose 18.16, to 1639.33.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 3.87, to 642.73.


NYSE: 2.32 billion shares, up from 2.19 billion on Monday. Decliners outnumbered advancers 14 to 9.

Nasdaq: 1.62 billion shares, up from 1.57 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers

10 to 7.


Crude oil for December delivery: $62.44, up $2.12.

Gold for current delivery: $472.80 a troy ounce, up from $465.00 on Monday.