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January looked like such a big month a couple weeks ago, but the markets ended the month with, at best, respectable gains. Of course, those could only be crocodile tears shed for impressive gains deflated. Positive is still positive.
At the end of Friday, all of our indexes were slightly down for the day. It's thought that advances were stifled by a report indicating that the gross domestic product grew in the fourth quarter at an annualized 4%. That's less than half the rate recorded during the third quarter and below the 4.8% many had expected for the final quarter of 2003.
Our InformationWeek 100 index closed Friday down 0.6%, or 1.87 points, to 333.36 points. The index lost 2.6% for the week. After looking like it might close up for the day, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%, or 2.08 points, to 2,066.15. The S&P 500 fell 0.3%, or 2.99 points, to 1,131.13, and the Dow fell 0.2%, or 22.22, to 10.488.07.
The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock, which we quote to better illustrate how individual tech shares moved, fell 0.5%, or 18 cents, to $37.06 on moderately high volume of 83 million shares.