Stocks finish day mixed


Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

NEW YORK - Wall Street ended an erratic session mixed Monday as investors grew more confident that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates again to ward off recession and as they also wrestled with worries about the upcoming earnings season.

Investors have grown more optimistic about a rate cut at the Fed's Jan. 29-30 meeting after last week's disappointing reports on jobs and manufacturing pointed to a slowing in the economy last month. And, they might get some clues about the central bank's stance when its chairman, Ben Bernanke, delivers a speech Thursday.

That optimism kept stocks from falling far during a session that saw the major indexes reverse course several time. But Wall Street remained uneasy as it awaited fourth-quarter earnings season, which unofficially starts Wednesday.

"It's a directionless market with very little for investors to sink their teeth into," said Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, of Monday's trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27.31, or 0.21 percent, to 12,827.49, after moving in and out of positive territory throughout the session.

Broader stock indicators ended mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.55, or 0.32 percent, to 1,416.18, and the tech-focused Nasdaq composite index fell 5.19, or 0.21 percent, to 2,499.46.

It was seventh straight session of losses for the Nasdaq, which greatly outperformed the Dow and the S&P in 2007.

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