Market flat as data offsets earnings

 @ibtimes
on October 25 2007 1:23 PM

Stocks were little changed on Thursday as a batch of weak economic data offset positive earnings from tech companies, including Motorola Inc.

Data showed orders for durable goods declined unexpectedly in September. Another report showed a fall in initial jobless claims was smaller than expected. Finally, sales of new homes in September were below expectations.

Mobile phone maker Motorola rose 4.9 percent to $19.45 after it posted a third-quarter operating profit and offered an upbeat assessment of its outlook.

We had some weak economic news, said Giri Cherukuri, head trader at OakBrook Investments LLC, in Lisle, Illinois. People are digesting earnings reports. Forecasts have been pretty low, but companies tend to exceed expectations, and I think they're again doing that.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 8.46 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,683.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 1.93 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,517.81. The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.54 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,769.22.

The Dow Jones home construction index was up 2.2 percent.

On the Nasdaq, Comcast Corp shares fell 9.8 percent to $21.50 as the cable TV operator lost more basic video subscribers than analysts expected.

Also declining were shares of Eli Lilly & Co, a day after it said it had stopped giving its experimental blood-clot preventer, prasugrel, to heart patients in two small trials. Shares were down 6.8 percent at $52.30.

EMC Corp jumped 6.4 percent to $23.96 after the largest maker of data storage equipment posted earnings in line with market expectations and said it would double its stock buy-back target to $2 billion.

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