The Nasdaq Composite Index got a lift on Tuesday from semiconductor shares that gained on a brokerage upgrade, but near-record oil prices weighed down the Dow and the Standard & Poor’s 500.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 9.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to finish the day at 10,599.67. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 2.49 points, or 0.2 percent, to finish at 1,213.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.94 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 2,091.07.
Technology stocks rose after Lehman Brothers raised its rating on the semiconductor sector to “positive” from “neutral.” Dow component Intel Corp. closed 1 percent higher at $27.18, while the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index rose 0.7 percent.
And one day after reaching record highs, crude oil futures dipped below $59 per barrel, but high prices still dampened investors’ enthusiasm for stocks. A barrel of light crude settled at $58.90, down 47 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Among local movers, shares of Arrowhead Research Corp. gained 11 percent to $3.20 after the Pasadena-based nanotechnology development firm announced that its subsidiary, Calando Pharmaceuticals Inc., granted an exclusive license to Benitec Ltd. for some of its biotechnology to create a new therapeutic approach for treating the hepatitis C virus. Calando will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, milestone payments and royalties on revenue from this approach, Arrowhead Research said in a release.
And ValueClick Inc. rose 5.5 percent to $10.83 after the Westlake Village-based provider of online advertising services raised its fiscal 2005 earnings outlook to the range of 38 cents to 40 cents per diluted share on revenue of $222 million to $226 million, up from earlier guidance of 37 cents to 39 cents per share on revenue of $218 million to $223 million. ValueClick also reaffirmed its forecast for second-quarter earnings of 8 cents per diluted share on revenue of $52 million to $53 million.
On the down side, shares of HomeStore Inc. fell 4.9 percent to $2.13 after the Westlake Village-based online real estate company announced late Monday that as part of a judgment, it advanced a payment of about $4 million to former Executive Vice President Peter Tafeen for defense costs incurred related to lawsuits stemming from the company’s restatement of past financial statements. The company said it expects to advance more defense costs and record additional expenses, depending on the length and outcome of the case.
And Hot Topic, Inc. fell 2 percent to $20 after the City of Industry-based mall retailer’s stock was downgraded to “strong sell” from “sell” by analyst Ivan Feinseth at Matrix USA. In its research note, Matrix said the company’s business trends are slowing and that its “valuation is still excessive.”