When is it time to push the panic button? With the
Nasdaq Composite Index
down some 230 points in two days? Probably not. But if this trend continues, there could be more serious repercussions.
The Nasdaq ended down 84.37, or 2.3%, at 3585.01, with Internet stocks dropping along with the rest of tech.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index finished down 13.43, or 1.6%, at 850.88, though it traded as low as 834.55.
Those watching the fundamentals were fixating on
earnings report after the close, amid hopes that a solid report and a rebound in the stock could help lift the sector tomorrow. And a couple of low-volume, down days did not necessarily suggest a change in sentiment, they argued.
Cisco reported earnings per share of 14 cents, a penny better than Wall Street expectations, which was a typical performance for the company. Some bulls also are banking that the market will rebound once the
is out of the way next week.
But virtually every technician we follow still sees a test of the 3227 low in the Nasdaq from April 17, and that may just be a place to pause before the index tumbles further. One positive for the index was that it managed to close above the 200-day moving average of 3573.28, though it did slip below that level when it reached a low of 3540.82 earlier today. After today's session, the 200-day moving average is at 3578.06.
Lack of news as the sector comes out of earnings season also has been a factor in the market's weakness. The biggest news today was a report from
could be looking to acquire
56% voting stake in
Excite@Home rallied to a high of 28 on the report, which indicated that Comcast has told AT&T that it would "flip" the terms of a March agreement for AT&T to acquire 60 million Excite shares owned by Comcast and Cox Communications. But there was some discrepancy over whether there was any truth to the report.
quoted an Excite@Home spokeswoman saying that Comcast had not issued a bid to take over Excite@Home. And
put out a note indicating that Bloomberg misinterpreted comments from Brian Roberts, president of Comcast.
Merrill analyst J. Reif Cohen wrote that in response to a question regarding AT&T's deal with Excite@Home, Roberts indicated that he believed Excite@Home would be a great asset if owned by one company, but did not say that Comcast would buy Excite@Home.
Excite@Home finished the day up 2 7/16, or 14%, at 19 15/16, despite the apparent misinformation, as shorts couldn't afford to sit around and see whether the report was true.