Wednesday, August 02, 2006


CONCERN ABOUT INTEREST RATE HIKE LOWERS STOCK MARKET

U.S. stocks fell, with bonds little changed Tuesday after economic reports rekindled concerns the Fed may need to continue curbing inflation with an additional interest rate increase.
Lackluster earnings and sales reports, along with higher energy prices, also weighed on equities.
In commodity markets, spot gold rose $10.90 to $647.65 and spot silver rose 33 cents to $11.76. The price of crude oil rose 51 cents to $74.91 a barrel.
Verizon announced quarterly earnings fell as competition with new providers such as Time Warner and Comcast increases. The company reported second-quarter earnings declined to 55 cents a share from 76 cents a share for the same period a year ago.
The telecommunications company is increasingly dependent upon wireless and Internet services for growth as customers switch to providers who offer package deals including television and high-speed Internet access. Shares of Verizon fell 55 cents to $33.27.
General Motors reported sales declined in July because, in part, of rising gasoline prices that continue to decrease demands for truck and sport-utility vehicles. Sales of its best-selling SUV, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, dropped by 52 percent and sales of its Silverado pickup truck fell by 31 percent. GM reported it posted a 19.5 percent drop in sales for July, which was in line with company expectations. Shares of General Motors fell 93 cents to $31.30.
Emerson Electric reported quarterly earnings rose as demand from the oil and gas industry increased sales. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Record oil prices continue to drive demand from customers such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell for Emerson's equipment that helps measure and analyze raw materials. The St. Louis-based company reported third-quarter earnings increased to $1.18 a share from 86 cents a share for the same period a year ago. Emerson Electric shares rose 58 cents to $79.50.
Arkansas Valley Publishing.

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