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Stocks Take A Tumble While Waiting For IBM

The markets were down as investors contemplated mixed economic news and waited for IBM's 2Q financials.
Stocks tumbled Thursday as investors digested mixed economic news and waited for IBM to report second-quarter earnings. While the Nasdaq and our own InformationWeek 100 indexes were virtually flat, it was a tougher day for the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes.

The InformationWeek 100 was essentially unchanged, falling 0.06 points to close at 289.78, while the Nasdaq fell 2.17 points, or 0.1%, to 1,912.71. The Dow industrials fell 45.64 points, or nearly 0.5%, to close at 10,163.16, while the S&P 500 fell 4.78 points, or more than 0.4%, to finish the day at 1,106.69. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock closed at $35.07, down 12 cents, or more than 0.3%, on moderate trading volume of more than 90 million shares.

Apple Computer was one of the day's big winners when traders rewarded the company for the second-quarter earnings gains it reported late Wednesday by boosting its stock more than 11% to $32.93. Flash memory-card maker SanDisk saw its stock surge more than 20% to $24.09 after a second-quarter earnings report that surpassed expectations. But Nokia's share price fell almost 13% to $12.45 after the cell-phone maker reported second-quarter sales and earnings were down from one year ago.

After the close of trading, IBM reported earnings that exceeded Wall Street's estimates by 4 cents per share but sales that were slightly less than anticipated. IBM fell 11 cents to $84.02 for the day but rose in after-hours trading.

On the economic front, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial output in June fell 0.3% to 116.2 on the Fed's index--economists had expected no change--and plant-capacity utilization fell to 77.2% from 77.6% in May. Also, the Labor Department said jobless claims last week rose 40,000 from the week before to 349,000.

But on the plus side, two regional measures of manufacturing activity, the Philadelphia Fed index and the Empire State index, both were up this month. And inflation appears to be under control: The Producer Price Index, a measure of wholesale prices, fell 0.3% in June.

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.