There! Now that we all got out of that safely, let's try to be careful on the Fourth of July.
Only a few fireworks on Wall Street Friday and the
ended the day up 88.87, or 2.3%, at 3966.10, right about at the session high.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index finished up 8.68, or 1.0%, a 841.84. End-of-the-month buying may have been responsible for the late push, and a volume surge at the end of the day was behind the outsized gains.
Perhaps the most exciting price action was to be seen in
, which was added to the
Standard & Poor's 500
after the close of trading today. Broadcom ended up 14 3/16, or 6.9%, at 218 15/16, though it traded to a session low of 192 with just over an hour to go.
Also among the day's best performers,
closed up 4 7/8, or 11%, at 48 5/8. The company said it will team with
, a European broadband communications services provider, to cache and distribute third-party content services through a network of servers that will be co-located in the Formus Communications network. This will allow high-speed delivery of content and e-business services to customers.
closed up 7 9/16, or 15%, at 57 3/8, as investors learned that the company entered into an agreement with
on Wednesday. Netro was one of four new Broadband Fixed Wireless Ecosystem partners that will team with Cisco.
Other big gainers included
, up 13 1/8, or 14%, at 107 3/16, and
, up 9 19/32, or 8.8%, to 118 23/32. Among traditional Net plays,
closed up 4 9/16, or 3.8%, at 123 7/8, and
ended up 2 5/8, or 5%, at 54 5/16.
2:17 p.m.: What to Read Into Pickup in IPO Market
The market sure isn't providing much in the way of hints as to which direction it is headed, so perhaps we can gain some insight by checking out Friday's initial public offerings.
In recent trading, the
was holding on to gains made earlier in the session, up 1.47%.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was essentially flat, down 0.05%.
IPOs can often provide clues as to the health of the market. Many IPOs were postponed after the recent market setback that started in late March. The market has started to show some promise of late, and there have recently been an increasing number coming to market.
Among Friday's offerings,
was the best performer, up 259%. Also,
was up 68%;
jumped 71%; while
was up 8.9%.
But as every book should not be judged by its cover, nor should investors be entirely focused on first-day performance of IPOs, according to Randall Roth, an analyst with
. Renaissance runs the
IPO Plus Aftermarket fund. Roth says that, yes, there has been a steady improvement in the first-day performance of IPOs, but the follow-up has been weak. And there are a number of factors behind that.
Pricing of the IPOs has been going higher, making them less attractive in after-market trading than when the market was having troubles, the offerings were priced lower and they had room to move up. In addition, he said, traders are reluctant to go "full-bore" into the offerings. Other investors remain gunshy about investing in the IPO market. Finally, investors that do get in on IPOs have been more risk averse and quicker to flip the shares to take profit rather than hold them long-term. They are "moving on to the next story."
Roth's advice for investors? "Do your homework. Find out what you're buying, which for a long time was not in vogue. Understand what the company does, its growth prospects, what the risks are and keep an eye on the trading and the perception of the company because there's no way they can get around people's perceptions."
Roth said that because of market conditions investors have become more discriminating in bringing companies public-- and the quality of those companies has improved. That could create opportunity if the initial performance is not spectacular. But again, he said, investors have to be careful about what they are investing in.
"You have to pay attention to how something is trading, and the mood on the Street with regard to certain companies," he said. "People are on a hair trigger and you have to be cognizant of that and ask yourself what your time horizon is. There are a lot of companies with big prospects, but if you have a shorter horizon you could find yourself in a pinch, and you'll find the thing doesn't recover for a long time. If your time horizon is shorter, keep an eye on market sentiment."
10:38 a.m.: Tech Stocks Glittering in Prelude to Weekend
Thankfully, John Rocker remains a pitcher with the
rather than the stockbroker he had threatened to become earlier this month when he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a fastball. But while Rocker did not take the No. 7 to
Thursday, who's to say he won't take the 4/5 down to Wall Street Friday?
What Rocker would see is some rather tame trading conditions. The
Nasdaq was up 42, or 1.1%, to 3919 early on.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was up 8, or 1%, to 841.
Among stocks in the news,
Check Point Software
was up 16 3/16, or 7.7%, to 226 1/4 after the company said it would split its stock 2 for 1. The record date for the split is expected to be July 14, with the stock trading on a postsplit basis July 26.
continued to benefit ahead of its inclusion in the
S&P 500 after the close Friday. It was up 3 1/16 to 207 13/16.
took a closer look at what the change means in an earlier
We've been hearing about a partner or investor for
for some time now and we're still hearing it. CDNow said Thursday that the company "is continuing its discussions with multiple parties to secure an investor or merger transaction and is working toward completing a transaction in the next several weeks."
On June 2, CDNow issued a press release in which it said it expected to be able to announce an investment or merger transaction by June 30, though as we
wrote back then, that news had already been known after the company released first-quarter earnings in May. On June 5, the company clarified that announcement, saying that had had discussions with five different groups about a possible investment or merger transaction, but had not agreed to terms with any of the companies and that an agreement by June 30 was not a sure thing. Finally, on
June 15, CDNow said it continued to search for an investor or merger partner, but even if an offer were received, "the price of an offer may be below the current market price of CDNow common stock."
Bottom line is that nothing should be much of a surprise when CDNow does make its announcement, and not much attention should be paid to the noise that comes out until that time. Friday's release likely was due to the previous release stating something would be done by Friday. CDNow was up 3/8, or 13.3%, to 3 3/16 early Friday.
, which dropped 8% Thursday on news that a group of airlines were forming their own Web site to provide discount airfares, was up 1/4 to 37 1/16 Friday. Any number of research firms came out in support of priceline, saying the losses Thursday were an overreaction.
Henry Blodget noted that priceline sells less than 10% of empty airline seats and he expected less than half of priceline's gross profit to be from airline tickets "in a year or so," and the airlines would continue to use priceline as a distribution channel.
"Long-term, priceline must still prove that it can wean itself from dependence on the airline ticket business. Based on the early results from several of the new vertical initiatives, it appears to be on its way to doing this."
was up 15/32, or 19.5%, to 2 7/8, on news that it was developing an online auto auction service for
GE Capital Auto Financial Services
as part of its effort to shift its clientele from consumers to companies.
A couple of stocks were moving after reporting earnings (or losses as the case may be).
was down 3 3/16, or 17%, to 15 9/16 after posting a loss of 40 cents a share for its fiscal first quarter vs. the 45-cent loss estimate from
First Call/Thomson Financial
. It is unclear what investors found undesirable in the earnings, though the stock had pushed higher in advance of the report so there may have been profit taking. Intraware also said that it had received $25 million in financing from institutional investors.
, which makes software that installs Internet application on televisions and other information appliances, was up 1, or 4.2%, to 24 13/16. Last night, the company reported a loss of 13 cents for its fiscal fourth quarter, which was better than the 20-cent loss estimate. The company said that its 78% increase in revenue was due to increased demand from cable operators.
was up 2 1/2, or 5.1%, to 50 3/4 and
was up 1 3/16, or 6.4%, to 19 7/8 on news that
had put both stocks on its recommended list.