Dow, S&P Finish Near Flat, Nasdaq Slips

A bleaker outlook for technology shares weighed on the Nasdaq Composite and kept the other major benchmarks to minor gains on Wednesday. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 4.28 points, or 0.04%, to 11,410.21. The S&P 500 ended up 1.13 points, or 0.09%, to 1,193.89. The Nasdaq Composite slid 11.97 points, or 0.47%, to 2,511.48.

Dell late Tuesday said it earned 54 cents a share minus items for the quarter ended July 29. That’s up 69% from the year-ago quarter and 5 cents above analyst views. Sales, however, came in light at $15.66 billion, up 1% but short of the $15.76 billion predicted by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. And Dell lowered its full-year revenue projection to growth of 1% to 5%, from its previous range of 5% to 9%.

President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to reassure an audience in his home state of Illinois that the economy would recover, but warned that Washington is not the answer to the nation’s economic troubles. He conceded that it will take at least a year for housing prices and sales to start rising, a key marker of an improved economy.

Wells Fargo plans to test a $3 monthly fee for its debit cards starting this fall. The San Francisco-based bank said the fee will be applied to checking accounts opened in five states starting in October. The fee would be in addition to monthly service fees ranging from $5 to $30 that Wells Fargo already charges.

PetSmart Inc. (PETM) late Wednesday reported its second-quarter profit rose to $61.2 million, or 54 cents a share, from $48.4 million, or 41 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 7% to $1.49 billion.

Target Corp (TGT) said profit rose 3.7 percent to $704 million, or $1.03 per share, for the quarter that ended July 30. That compares with $679 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 4.6 percent to $16.24 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 97 cents per share on revenue of $15.9 billion.

JDSU Inc.(JDSU) reported better-than-expected revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter on Wednesday afternoon, though the company warned that it was seeing challenges from the weaker economy and “inventory corrections, which we believe will be short-term in nature.” For the quarter ended July 2, JDSU reported net income of $9.3 million, or 4 cents a share, compared to net income of $1.5 million, or 1 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Crude-oil futures pared gains Wednesday after a weekly government report showed a suprise increase in supplies. Oil for September delivery added $1.59, or 1.9%, to $88.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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