A rise in stocks yesterday was seen as a promising forecast from General Electric Co. (GE) and helped reverse four straight sessions of declines, but a weak dollar and the market's run-up kept a lid on investors' enthusiasm.
"The dollar concerns set the tone for the market today, which is very cautious," said Andrew Baker, senior Nasdaq trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan. "A lot of economic data and earnings data have been positive, but a lot of it is priced in."
The U.S. dollar earlier sank to a record low against the euro after a U.S. move to slap quotas on Chinese textile imports. Investors, already worried the stock market has run too far, too fast this year, are concerned that the weakening dollar would chase away foreign investors in the United States.
GE tacked on $0. 86 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.30, leading the Dow Jones fund higher and ranking as the most active stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company said it expects only a modest profit increase next year, but sees a return to double-digit growth in 2005.
Analog Devices Inc., which makes chips used in cell telephones and various electronics, jumped $1.72, or 3.8 percent, to $46.59. The company said its quarterly net profit more than doubled on strong orders worldwide, which it also expects in the current quarter.
SoundView Technology Group Inc. surged $2.15, or 16.3 percent, to $15.40. Charles Schwab Corp., the largest U.S. discount brokerage, said it would buy the investment bank for about $321 million, sending its own stock down $0.13 to $11.29. (Reuters)
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