u.s. stocks end lower as ebay, jp morgan disappoin

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    U.S. stocks end lower as eBay, JP Morgan disappoint
    AAP News
    9:05:020 20/01/2005
    (Updates to close)
    By Anupama Chandrasekaran
    NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Wednesday after
    bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. and drug maker Pfizer Inc. reported
    disappointing earnings, while a lackluster outlook from
    cell-phone maker Motorola Inc. stoked concerns about weak
    technology spending.
    Online marketplace eBay Inc. plummeted 10 percent after
    hours to $93.09 from $103.05, its Nasdaq close, after reporting
    earnings that missed Wall Street's forecast.
    "Earnings have been the backbone of the market and
    investors are extrapolating the disappointing results and are
    worried," said Milton Ezrati, senior economic strategist at
    Lord Abbett & Co.
    The Dow Jones industrial average was down 88.82 points, or
    0.84 percent, to end at 10,539.97, with 27 of the 30 Dow
    components closing lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was
    down 11.35 points, or 0.95 percent, to finish at 1,184.63. The
    technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index was down 32.45 points,
    or 1.54 percent, to close at 2,073.59.
    Trading was active, with 1.5 billion shares changing hands
    on the New York Stock Exchange, just above the 1.46 billion
    daily average for last year. About 2.23 billion shares were
    traded on Nasdaq, above the 1.81 billion daily average last
    year.
    The number of declining stocks outnumbered those rising by
    about 2-to-1 on the NYSE and more than 2-to-1 on Nasdaq.
    Motorola tumbled 7 percent, or $1.23, to $16.20, a day
    after it said first-quarter earnings would be lower than
    average Wall Street analysts' estimates.
    Meanwhile, shares of Dow component JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
    the No. 2 U.S. bank, slipped 1.5 percent, or 56 cents, to
    $37.84 after its fourth-quarter earnings missed Wall Street
    expectations.
    The discouraging trend continued after the closing bell
    when eBay reported a profit that missed the Street's forecast
    and issued a forecast for 2005 revenue and earnings that were
    below estimates. The online marketplace also gave an earnings
    forecast for the current first quarter that was below analysts'
    consensus forecast.
    "I think investors are just used to eBay beating the Street
    numbers -- not just by a little, but by a lot," said Stephen
    Leeb, president of Leeb Capital Management. "The eBay earnings
    will hit every other major Internet stock."
    In another disappointment after the closing bell, Qualcomm
    Inc. fell to $38.61 from its Nasdaq close at $41.07 after the
    wireless technology company gave a second-quarter earnings
    forecast that was below some analysts' estimates. Qualcomm,
    however, reported a higher profit for its fiscal first quarter
    on strong demand.
    U.S. stock futures moved sharply lower as earnings news
    poured in after the bell.
    During the regular session, Dow component Pfizer Inc., the
    world's largest drug company, fell 1.7 percent to $24.88 after
    saying fourth-quarter earnings rose slightly below analysts'
    expectations.
    International Business Machines Corp. slipped 1.9 percent,
    or $1.80, to $93.10, a day after it posted quarterly profits
    that beat Wall Street targets. A chunk of its growth was due to
    favorable currency effects.
    Only three Dow components finished Wednesday's session
    higher: McDonald's Corp. inched up 2 cents, or 0.06 percent, to
    $31.62, while 3M Co. edged up 15 cents, or 0.18 percent, to
    $82.17, and Procter & Gamble gained 94 cents, or 1.69 percent,
    to $56.68.
    In other news, Maytag Corp. fell 10.4 percent to $16.73.
    Electronics retailer Best Buy Co. said it would stop selling
    Maytag-branded major appliances to make space for more popular
    brands.
    Weekly oil inventory data will be released at 5 p.m. EST,
    delayed from the usual 10:30 a.m. release time because of the
    holiday on Monday. NYMEX February crude futures fell 83 cents
    to settle at $47.55 a barrel, before this afternoon's release
    of weekly data. The forecast calls for an increase in domestic
    stockpiles of distillate fuels and crude.
 
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