Investors sat tight, digesting new economic news and profit warnings, as a disastrous first quarter drew to a close. The Nasdaq dropped 12.77 points to 1,807.80, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 20.50 points to 9,819.56.
Investors received a fresh batch of economic data to puzzle over as they ended the week and the quarter. Consumer spending rose in February, according to a new report from the government. The increase of 0.3 percent from January was far slower than previous increases, indicating economic fears could be having an effect on spending.
However, the University of Michigan survey of consumer confidence came in at 91.5, above the Wall Street consensus survey of 90.5. That increase breaks a three-month string of dropping figures, which could mean that Americans' opinions about the economy are improving.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell to 35 percent from 43.2 percent, well below the 44 percent consensus, marking its lowest level since March 1982.
Cirrus Logic (crus) warned investors that it will miss earnings estimates for the next two quarters, citing a shifting product mix and an inventory charge. Shares dipped $1.94 to $13.63. --Margaret Kane, ZDNet Inter@ctive Investor