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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:10 a.m., Monday, July 30, 2001

Weakness evident in slow trading

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Stocks drifted lower during a quiet session today as more companies indicated that tough times will continue for at least another quarter.

Analysts attributed the weakness to investors' unwillingness to make commitments in a business environment that shows no signs of improving soon.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14.95 to 10,401.72, according to preliminary calculations, in a second down session.

Broader stock indexes also lagged. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 1.30 to 1,204.52, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 11.25 to 2,017.82.

"There's still no sense of when the profit pressure is going to ease," said Charles Pradilla, chief investment strategist at SG Cowen Securities. "But right now it looks like the turn in both the economy and profits probably won't occur well into the first quarter of 2002."

Adobe Systems fell $2.52 to $40.54, a 5.9 percent loss, after the software systems maker said it might miss third-quarter revenue targets.

Tyson Foods dropped 52 cents to $9.88, despite beating quarterly estimates. Investors were dissatisfied with the poultry producer's indications that business remains disappointing.

But Wall Street rewarded pizza restaurant chain Papa John's for better-than-expected results, sending its stock up 75 cents, or 3 percent, to $24.75.

The companies are among the last to report in what has been a dismal earnings season. Investors had expected disappointing results, but were caught off guard by most companies' inability to say when business will improve.

Even an interest-rate cut anticipated next month — the seventh by the Federal Reserve — isn't expected to lift the market. Instead, investors are looking for signs of better times ahead.

"A lot's going to depend on the next 60 days," said James Meyer, director of research at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Advancing issues led decliners 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange in quiet trading. Volume was 902.95 million shares.