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6/24/2004
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Morning Gains Melt Away

The markets got off to a good start on Thursday, but a lower forecast from AT&T was among the contributors to a losing day.

Morning gains eroded by late afternoon Thursday as investors' enthusiasm waned in the face of multiple attacks overseas, weak sales of manufactured goods, and a lower forecast from AT&T to send stock markets lower.

The Dow Jones industrials fell 35.76, or 0.3% to 10443.81, while the S&P 500 fell 3.44, or 0/3%, to 1,140.65. The Nasdaq fell 5.41, or 0.3%, to 2,015.57, and the InformationWeek 100 was nearly unchanged, falling 0.10 to 319.08. The Nasdaq 100 tracking stock fell 7 cents to $37.05 as more than 92.3 million shares changed hands.

Microsoft rose 9 cents to $28.39 after Bank of America upgraded its rating on the software company, largely on speculation about what it will do with its huge reserve of cash.

AT&T fell $1.60 to $14.81 after the company cut its revenue forecast for the year to a point below its own expectations and that of Wall Street--largely due to a regulatory decision that forced it to pull service from seven states. Several brokerage firms lowered their ratings on the stock.

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