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STOCKS OFF SHARPLY IN LATE TRADING

Stocks continued their slide today amid persistent concerns about corporate profits and rising oil prices.

At 1 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down 165.00 at 10,624.29. The Nasdaq composite index fell 44.03 to 3,821.61, and the Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 17.06 to 1,438.61.

"The fact that oil prices are now about $36 per barrel has probably become a temporary roadblock for the market," said Tom Galvin, chief equity strategist at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities. "I think the majority of investor concern is over corporate profits, but I think there's been some anxiety over how long and how oil prices have moved higher, and further anxieties about outcome of the president election."

Sprint fell $5.56 to $35.25 after the telecommunications company said earnings will be lower than expected.

Online financial news provider thestreet.com tumbled $1.13 to $5 after saying its profits would not meet expectations.

Intel, one of Tuesday's most highly traded issues, rose again today, gaining $1.56 to $61.94. Cobalt Networks, which had surged 39 percent Tuesday on news it was being acquired by Sun Microsystems, was up 6 cents at $57.25.

Informix lost 66 cents to $4.50 after the database-software maker said it will have a third-quarter operating loss, while analysts polled by First Call/Thompson Financial expected a profit.

The company will also cut 400 jobs, or 11 percent of its work force, and is splitting into two to boost sales and profit, a spokesman said.

Spartech fell $1.44 to $15.44 after the maker of plastics for packaging warned its fourth-quarter profit will fall short of expectations. The company blamed the loss of a customer, increased competition and a delay in revamping a Stamford, Conn., plant.

ADC Telecommunications fell $2.13 to $32.75 after the maker of products that deliver high-speed Web connections said it agreed to buy closely held rival Broadband Access Systems for $2.25 billion in stock.

Oil stocks gained the most in the S&P 500. Schlumberger climbed $3.06 to $83.94, Halliburton rose $1.25 to $51.81. Exxon Mobil rose $1.31 to $89.31.

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