Texas lifts Nasdaq but Dow stays flat

THE Nasdaq rose yesterday after an improved outlook from <strong>Texas Instruments</strong> lifted technology stocks, but gains on other indexes were limited as plans by big banks to repay government bailout funds raised concerns whether the move would help the economy recover.<br /><br />Shares of Texas Instruments jumped 6.4 per cent to $21.03 after it raised its quarterly earnings and revenue targets, signaling improving demand in the chip market. <br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average gained 14.74 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 8,779.23. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index gained 4.59 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 943.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 20.25 points, or 1.10 per cent, to 1,862.65.<br /><br />Stocks initially moved higher after the Treasury Department said 10 big banks will pay back $68bn received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or Tarp, to the government, but quickly fell back on concerns the money could be better served by lending to boost the economy.<br /><br />An auction of three-year Treasury notes in the early afternoon was met with solid demand, easing concerns that an oversupply of government debt could push interest rates still higher and increase the cost of borrowing to consumers and businesses.<br /><br /><strong>General Electric</strong>, which makes engines for planes, said it expects orders this year to fall by 50 per cent, knocking down shares of plane maker <strong>Boeing</strong> and <strong>United Technologies</strong>, also a maker of plane engines. <br /><br />Boeing shares fell 1.8 per cent to $51.89, while United Technologies shares fell 1.3 per cent to $55.76 as the top drags on the Dow. Shares of conglomerate GE were unchanged.<br /><br />The S&amp;P 500 has rallied 39.5 per cent since hitting a 12-year closing low on 9 March, leading analysts to speculate a correction was looming, although recent dips have been short-lived.<br /><br />Trading volume was low on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.06bn shares changing hands, below last year&rsquo;s estimated daily average of 1.49bn, while on Nasdaq, about 2.16bn shares traded, below last year&rsquo;s daily average of 2.28bn.