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8/13/2004
04:57 PM
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Oil Prices Hold Back Rally Effort

The key indexes closed the week with small gains, though record-high oil prices dampened enthusiasm among investors.

Bullish investors attempted to rally Friday amid excellent earnings news from Dell, but their efforts failed amid news that oil prices surpassed $46 a barrel and that the U.S. trade deficit hit record levels.

All major indexes ended relatively flat for the day.

The Dow rose 10.76, or 0.1%, to 9,825.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.57, or 0.2%, to 1,064.80, and the Nasdaq rose 4.73, or 0.3%, to 1,757.22. The InformationWeek 100 rose .99 points, or 0.4%, to 262.39, and was down 2.3% for the week. Despite Thursday's massive selloff, the Dow and the S&P 500 both edged 0.1% higher for the week, while the Nasdaq fell 1.1%.

The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock rose 6 cents to $32.53 as more than 90 million shares changed hands.

Oil closed at a record $46.60 per barrel, giving greater credence to investors' fears that prices may have to reach or surpass $50 before falling back.

Dell rose $1.39 to $34.51 after matching Wall Street expectations in its second-quarter profit. The computer maker said its third quarter, which includes the back-to-school season, looked positive.

Software maker Agilent Technologies rose 84 cents to $20.52 after announcing a third-quarter profit, compared with a loss in the year-ago quarter. The company beat Wall Street expectations by 2 cents per share.

PalmSource, which makes software for the popular Palm handhelds, said chairman Eric Benhamou will step down in late October. Benhamou will remain chairman of palmOne Inc., which makes the handhelds themselves. PalmSource fell 12 cents to $18.03, while palmOne fell 10 cents to $38.00.

See the full listing of all the companies in the InformationWeek 100 and the top 5 percentage winners and losers for the last closing at informationweek.com/stocks.

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