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Friday, February 11, 2011

US Stocks end mixed as Egypt, tech weigh on market (ext)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. markets ended Thursday on a mixed note as traders tried to grasp the developments in Egypt.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 10.6 points, or 0.1% to end at 12,229; the S&P 500 (SPX) rose 1 point, or 0.1%, to 1,322; and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (COMP) closed up 1.4 points, or 0.1% to 2,790. The Dow had been down more than 75 points earlier in the day.

Despite poor quarterly earnings from other tech companies including Akamai (AKAM) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI), the markets erased the majority of losses after major news outlets reported that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could step down today.

After hours of waiting, President Mubarak began speaking at around 3:45 p.m. ET, giving U.S. markets only about 15 minutes to react to the news. When U.S. markets closed, it wasn't clear if Mubarak was stepping down, but it soon became evident that he was not relinquishing power.

Investors said the global reaction to Egypt overnight will hold the key for trading tomorrow.

"We know are possibly losing a friend, but are we gaining an enemy? It's hard to tell at the moment," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist with Avalon Partners."The auxiliary markets such as the dollar and gold will be the ones to watch overnight."

The dollar rose against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

Oil for March delivery settled up 2 cents to $86.73 a barrel. However in afterhours electronic trading, oil futures climbed 1.1% to $87.67 a barrel..

Gold futures for April delivery settled down $3 to $1,362.50 an ounce.

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