Mixed News Keeps Gains Slim

Markets absorb gloomy Fed data and continued oil drop
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 3:15 PM CDT
In this July 2, 2007 file photo, the sign on the top of the AT & T building in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, shines through fireworks being set off over Jacobs Field.    (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
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(Newser) – The markets pared earlier gains to end just slightly positive today, amid mixed earnings reports and a gloomy-but-expected Federal Reserve data on the US economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow gained 29.88, closing at 11,632.38. The Nasdaq gained 21.92, settling at 2,325.88, while the S&P 500 fell 5.19 to 1,282.19.

The Fed’s beige book said US economic activity slowed in June and July, but did not provoke much reaction from traders. Oil continued a weeklong slide, falling almost $4 to 124.44. In earnings, Pfizer and AT&T rose on strong second-quarter reports, while McDonald’s and Boeing fell after reporting troubles. Homebuilders also surged on the news President Bush would sign the Fannie/Freddie bailout plan.