Going Nowhere Fast

Apr 26, 2004 (01:04 PM EDT)

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Stocks had little direction on Monday as a jump in new home sales added to investors' worries. Technology issues were dragged down by weakness in semiconductor shares.

The Dow Jones industrials fell 28.11, or 0.3%, to 10,444.73 after three consecutive daily gains. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.07, or 0.4%, at 1,135.53, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 13.00, or 0.6%, to 2,036.77. The InformationWeek 100 posted the biggest loss, falling 3.87, or 1.2%, to 330.17. The Nasdaq 100 tracking stock fell 27 cents to $36.94 on slow volume of 74.16 million shares.

The Commerce Department's report that new home sales jumped 8.9% in March, the largest monthly increase in nine months, depressed a market already worried that a healthy economy will push interest rates higher.

It was a tough day for companies that make and market semiconductors. Intel fell 38 cents, or 1.4%, to $27.15, while Applied Materials fell 54 cents, or 0.5%, to $19.44 and National Semiconductor fell $2.32, or 5%, to $43.89.