Wall Street Starts New Week With Mixed Session

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT


(CNSNews.com) - A combination of corporate mergers and dropping oil prices weren't enough to boost the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the 11,000 plateau on Monday, though the other two major markets did make modest gains.

The Dow fell 3.69 points to 10,936.86, the Nasdaq Composite index rose 19.60 points to reach 2,090.21, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 3.19 points to 1,225.31.

After last Friday's rally left the Dow within striking distance of 11,000, investors were cheered by the news that crude oil prices fell 48 cents to $53.30 as warmer weather diminished heating oil demand.

In addition, a trio of merger announcements in the financial, defense and communications sectors indicated that corporate America generally remains confident about future economic growth.

Capital One Financial Corp. said on Monday that it would pay more than $5.35 billion in cash and stock to acquire Hibernia Corp., a Louisiana regional bank. Also, Europe's BAE Systems PLC announced a $4.2 billion bid to buy United Defense Industries, Inc., and the Carlyle Group reported it was offering $650 million to acquire Insight Communications, Inc., a cable systems operator.

Also, tech companies Qualcomm, Cisco, Texas Instruments, Inc., Intel Corp. and Sony Corp. all gained ground in Monday trading.

"If you're going to go higher, you have to have techs involved, and we're seeing that," Todd Leone, managing director of equity trading at SG Cowen Securities, told Fox News. "Overall, the market seems pretty resilient. It looks like it wants to go to 11,000."

However, the second major CEO scandal for aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. sent its shares down sharply after the company announced it had fired Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher for having an affair. His predecessor, Phil Condit, resigned Dec. 1, 2003, in a defense contracting scandal.

Overseas trading was also mixed in the first session of the new week. Japan's Nikkei stock average, Germany's DAX index and France's CAC-40 all made gains, while Britain's FTSE 100 dropped slightly.

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