Nasdaqs rise to 4-year high may be over as profit growth slows

Nov 21 | Updated: Nov 22 2005, 05:30am hrs
Slowing growth at some of the largest US technology companies may cause the Nasdaq Composite Index to fall from the four-year high set last week.

Microsoft Corps earnings per share may be little changed for the year that ends in June, according to a company forecast last month. Analysts expect Intel Corp and Cisco Systems Inc to have the smallest annual profit increases since 2001.

Sales gains at Dell Inc have narrowed for the past six quarters. Their prospects may damp enthusiasm spurred by Google Incs rise above $400 a share last week and anticipation of Microsofts US release of the Xbox 360 video-game console, scheduled for tomorrow. They all face some pressure going into next year, said Bob Sitko, who helps manage $500 million at USAA Private Investment Management in San Antonio. Theres not much to get excited about in tech.

The Nasdaq, which gets 45% of its value from computer-related companies, rose last week for the fifth week in a row. The index added 1.1% to 2227.07, its highest since June 2001. During the streak, it has climbed 7.9%. The Standard & Poors 500 Index rose 1.1 % to a four- year high of 1248.27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.8% to 10,766.33, a level not seen since March. Prices climbed after optimism about stocks, tracked in a survey by Investors Intelligence, increased for a third week.