Stocks fall on mixed Intel earnings report


Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at 9:47 p.m.
NEW YORK - Mixed earnings news from Intel jolted Wall Street Wednesday, sending stocks sharply lower as investors unloaded stocks on worries that corporate profits might not be so strong after all.
Analysts said the chip maker's plans to lower capital spending dampened investors' hopes of a resurgent economy in the coming months, while a bleak outlook from DuPont added to the pessimism.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 119.44, or 1.4 percent, to close at 8,723.18, having gained 56 points Tuesday.
The broader market also fell. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 22.19, or 1.5 percent, to 1,438.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 13.44, or 1.4 percent, to 918.22.

Continental losses not as bad as predicted

HOUSTON - Despite a stronger-than-expected boost from holiday travelers, Continental Airlines lost $109 million during the fourth quarter, bringing its losses for 2002 to $451 million.
The company's fourth quarter loss was narrower than expected by Wall Street analysts, but the earnings results failed to excite investors, who appeared more focused on the fact that the Houston-based carrier, and the rest of the industry, will remain steeped in red ink for the forseeable future.
Shares of Continental rose 20 cents on the New York Stock Exchange to close Wednesday at $9.10, roughly a third of their value one year ago.

Bankruptcy judge OKs Conseco bonus plan

INDIANAPOLIS - Employees of Conseco Inc. and its consumer finance unit stand to receive millions of dollars in bonuses as an incentive to stay with the company during its Chapter 11 reorganization.
A Chicago-based bankruptcy judge approved a bonus program for St. Paul Minn.-based Conseco Finance Corp., and granted interim approval to continue a similar program at the parent company.
Judge Carol A. Doyle on Tuesday also approved a $150 million credit package that will enable Conseco Finance to continue operating during bankruptcy.
Conseco Inc., based in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, became the third-largest U.S. company to seek bankruptcy protection when it filed on Dec. 17. The insurance and finance company expects to emerge from bankruptcy this spring, with hopes of cutting $6.5 billion in debt to $1.4 billion in a process that could leave creditors holding equity ownership.

Banks' earnings meet or beat expectations

Retail banks reported earnings at or above analysts' expectations on Wednesday, with profits driven by gains in mortgages, credit card portfolios and other areas.
Bank of America reported fourth-quarter profits of $2.61 billion, or $1.69 a share, up 27 percent from $2.05 billion, or $1.28 a share a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had expected the bank to earn $1.63 per share.
Fifth Third Bancorp of Cincinnati reported earnings of $423.6 million, or 72 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, up from $385.7 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier. Profits were driven by the banking company's expansion into new markets. The earnings were in line with projections from analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

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