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Wall Street ends mixed, gold sets new record

08-18-2011 09:43 BJT

NEW YORK, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street ended a choppy session mixed as technology sector dragged, while Gold futures closed at another record high.

Wednesday's trading was still thin as investors were cautious after last week's great volatility.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained as much as 124 points before settling at 11,410.21, little changed from the previous session.

American Express and Verizon Communications led the blue-chip index higher while Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar were the weakest in the Dow, losing 3.74 percent and 1.91 percent respectively.

The bellwether Standard & Poor's 500 managed to end higher after erasing early rally of more than 1 percent, but still failed to reclaim the 1,200 technical level. The average was up 1.12 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,193.88.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 11.97 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,511.48, the only one in three major indexes which ended in negative territory.

Dell, the biggest personal computer maker, plunged more than 10 percent a day after its quarterly revenues came in below estimates, exerting downward pressure to the technology sector.

However, strong earnings in the retail sector gave the market a lift. Target jumped about 2.4 percent after the retailing company posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday. The company's total revenues for the quarter increased 4.6 percent to 16.24 billion dollars.

Staples' stock spiked more than 7 percent before retreating to about only 0.5 percent after the office supply chain reported strong profit and sales in the second quarter, and raised its outlook for the year.

On the economic front, the Labor Department said the Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods rose 0.2 percent in July after a 0.4-percent decrease in June. Excluding food and energy, the so-called core PPI rose 0.4 percent, the largest monthly rise since January.

Inflation worries pushed gold prices to another closing high of 1791.20 dollar an ounce, showing gold was still seen as safe-haven assets amid economic uncertainties.

In other markets, the U.S. dollar fell against major currencies in late New York trading while crude prices rose as the U.S. gasoline inventories declined sharply last week.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 93 cents, or 1. 07 percent to settle at 87.58 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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