Pulse: A Few Morning Tech Gains Remain, but Others Evaporate

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What the market gave in the morning, it decided it wanted back for the weekend.

After spending most of the day trading tech up, the market went slightly schizoid in the afternoon, taking back many of the gains posted by bargain hunters and erasing some because of continuing concern over earnings.

Bargain hunters did pump up the shares of a number of optical-component makers, which have been rocked by a month of worrying over cuts in next year's spending by telecom companies.

Avanex

(AVNX)

closed up $5.31, or 11.42%, to $51.81.

New Focus for Networks

(NUFO)

also closed the day with a double-digit percentage increase, up $3.72, or 18.31%, to $24.03. Avanex dropped 53.5% in value during the month of November, while New Focus went down 64.8% during the same period.

In initiating coverage with a buy rating on

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

,

The Williams Capital Group

, wrote that the long-term market for optical equipment is very strong. Optical-components leader JDS closed up $6.13, or 12.23%, to $56.19.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index edged into positive area, closing up 1.1%.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

ended the day down after a report by

SG Cowen

analyst Scott Reamer cited them as especially vulnerable to the changing nature of Internet advertising. Reamer cut his 2001 numbers for 2001 for both companies. In a different note today,

Merrill Lynch

analyst

Henry Blodget said Yahoo! had reported a year-to-year increase of 100% for orders the day after Thanksgiving.

Yahoo! closed down 69 cents, or 1.7%, to $38.94. DoubleClick closed down $1.13, or 7.9%, to $13.06.

Despite some encouraging remarks from Blodget that

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Report

appears to be on track toward making its fourth-quarter sales estimates, the e-tailer closed down slightly by 6 cents, or 0.25%, to $24.63.

Internet incubator

CMGI

(CMGI)

, a favorite whipping boy of Internet-phobic investors, traded up slightly 0.6% after announcing it would speed up its $80 million investment in its Web- hosting company

NaviSite

(NAVI) - Get Report

. NaviSite rose 35%, closing at $3.37 -- a far cry from its high in March of $159.15.

After up-and-down opinions from analysts, e-commerce software providers

Ariba

(ARBA)

and

BroadVision

(BVSN) - Get Report

went in the same direction -- down. Ariba was upgraded by

Jefferies

from a hold to accumulate. Analyst Richard T. Williams wrote that Ariba, which has dropped more than 62% off its yearly high, is now attractively priced. But another note from

Stephens

mentioned that Ariba might have to write off its investments in drooping Internet companies. Ariba closed down $1.31, or 2.1%, to $60.94.

BroadVision was downgraded today by

Credit Suisse First Boston

analyst Brent Thill from strong buy to buy. Thill's note said he was concerned about BroadVision's ability to offer applications to customers interested in new Java environment J2EE.

"A lot of customers want it today. We think BroadVision will get there, but there may be a few bumps in the road," Thill said in an interview. (CSFB has no underwriting relationship with BroadVision.) BroadVision closed down $2.50, or 11%, to $20.13.

2:10 p.m.: Tech Rebound for Real?

PC makers and semiconductors, responsible for so much of the bloodletting yesterday, were leading the rebound this morning. How much of a rebound, though, is questionable.

"Is it real? Not necessarily. It's more of a technical relief rally. We're not seeing big money off the sidelines," said one trader who asked not to be named. He said speculation on the floor was that large institutional investors were refraining from selling because they already had too much cash on hand.

Still, there was some confidence in the fact that without any positives, maybe tech stocks were down as far as they would get, the trader said.

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

, whose downward guidance Wednesday, along with even more-severe downward guidance from computer maker

Gateway

(GTW)

, was a catalyst for Thursday's selloff, was trading up $1.25, or 5.2% to $25.19, after losing 7.7% Thursday. Perhaps buyers believe, as

J.P. Morgan Securities

analyst Terry Ragsdale wrote in a note maintaining his buy rating today, that the stock price "already reflects a lot of investor pessimism."

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was up 4.9%. Despite being downgraded this morning by

Credit Suisse First Boston

, many of the semiconductor equipment makers were rising with the sector One exception was

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, which was trading down 82 cents, or 2% to $39.39 after

CIBC World Markets

trimmed earnings estimates yesterday for the first quarter of 2001.

Novellus

(NVLS)

, which announced yesterday that it expected to meet Street expectations for earnings and revenue, was trading up $2.19, or 8.4%, to $28.13. And

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

was trading up $2.37, or 8.6%, to $29.88, despite the downgrade.

Some of the computer makers were digging their own way out of yesterday's hole. Gateway, which lost 34.5% yesterday, was trading up 89 cents, or 4.7%, to $19.89.

Compaq

(CPQ)

, which lost 5.3% Thursday, announced a $1 billion stock buyback. The company had responded earlier this week to an analyst's contention that it had excess inventory on hand. Compaq was trading up $2.32, or 10.8%, to $23.82

And

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

helped itself as well. H-P, which announced yesterday that, while PC sales were soft, its sales for boxes were up for the quarter and that it expected to make its fourth-quarter numbers, was trading up $1.94 or 6.1% to $33.56.

The communications chip stocks were among those leading the way up after what was an ugly November for many of them.

Applied Microcircuits

(AMCC)

, which lost 36.6% of its value during the month of November, was trading up $5.37 or 11.1% to $53.82.

PMC-Sierra

(PMCS)

, which dropped 43% during the month, was trading up $10.13 or 11% to $102.31.

Of course, the big name was also the big exception. Chip giant

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was trading down 5.1% after Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Charlie Glavin lowered his estimates for the next calendar year. "Channel checks reveal PC pricing pressures continue to ratchet up, with no indications of easing until mid-2001," Glavin wrote.

An overreaction? In this market? Surely you're kidding. Sarcasm aside, investor overreaction is how

Credit Suisse First Boston

analyst Mark Hassenberg explains yesterday's hammering of

Jabil Circuits

(JBL) - Get Report

. The Florida-based circuit board maker fell 22% yesterday on fears it would be hurt by Gateway's weak sales.

"We believe the impact of Gateway's sales is greatly exaggerated," Hassenberg wrote in upgrading Jabil from buy to strong buy. (Though he simultaneously lowered its 12-month price target from $70 to $52.) Gateway only accounts for 5% of the company's sales, he wrote, a percentage that may shrink further. Jabil was trading up 17.4%.