Today the market tries to see if it can put together a move that holds up through the afternoon.
It'll be a tough thing to do. Yesterday's fizzled rally only reinforced the notion that strength is for selling into this August, an opportunity to raise cash and lighten your load.
Yet the news of the day -- that
is considering buying
, according to
Business Week Online
-- may give stocks the momentum they need to carry what looks like a good move up in the morning into the close.
"I expect they'll do a little bit better trying to keep the gains today," said Bill Meehan, market analyst at
But even with the potential dot-com deal, Meehan does not see much conviction in the stock market now. "I think it's going to be choppy until we get the employment data" Friday, he said, "with the risk to the downside."
At 9 a.m. EDT, the
futures were up 6.5, about 8 above fair value and indicating a hop at the open.
The 30-year Treasury was down 14/32 to 87 29/32, putting the yield at 6.14%.
The dollar caught a bid against the yen after
Japanese Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa
said the drop in the greenback had been too rapid and that a dollar trading below 114 yen would be unfavorable. Later, the
Ministry of Finance
indicated that Miyazawa had talked with
and that the conversation had included discussion of the foreign-exchange market.
With the market caught short, the dollar turned around quickly. Lately it was trading up 1 yen at 115.23.
The turn in the dollar reversed losses in Tokyo stocks. Led by global blue-chips, which book a lot of dollar profits, the
climbed 144.23 to 17,969.93.
Hong Kong stocks edged higher in a bit of carryover from the big, pre-earnings move in
tacked on 38.41 to 13,438.99.
It's thin trading in Europe, where portfolio managers not taking August vacations are market shy ahead of the Aug. 24
Federal Open Market Committee
was off 3.71 to 5125.79.
halted its slide on reports that it is considering bidding for Italy's
In Paris, the
was down 11.06 to 4366.81.
was off 9.1 to 6279.2. A selloff in the gilt market was weighing on things there. New data there suggested house prices in some areas of Britain are increasing at unsustainable there. That raised worries that the
Bank of England
will begin to raise rates soon, with the market giving putting outside chances on a BOE hike when it concludes its monthly meeting on Thursday.
Tuesday's Wake-Up Watchlist
Excite@Home and Yahoo! have held talks over the last six weeks about a possible deal where Yahoo! would buy Excite@Home for some amount greater than its market value of $17 billion,
Business Week Online
reported, citing sources close to the companies. The article also reported that Yahoo! does not want to operate an infrastructure company like @Home, so exactly what would happen with @Home is still up in the air.
British American Tobacco
has agreed to buy the 58% of
that it does not already own for roughly $6.8 billion.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
(Earnings estimates are from
posted second-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share, a penny shy of the 10-anlayst estimate of 58 cents and up from the year-ago 54 cents.
posted second-quarter after-tax operating earnings of $1.22 a share, ahead of the nine-analyst estimate of $1.14 and up from the year-ago operating earnings of 98 cents.
posted a second-quarter loss of a penny a share.
posted second-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 28 cents.
posted second-quarter operating earnings of 68 cents, ahead of the one-analyst estimate of 65 cents but down from the year-ago operating earnings of 76 cents.
reported first-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, a penny shy of the eight-analyst estimate and down from the year-ago 28 cents.
Offerings and stock actions
last night priced 6 million shares of
(FLWS:Nasdaq) at $21 a share, above the expected range of $16 to $18.
Hambrecht & Quist
priced 5 million shares of
(QUOT:Nasdaq), an Internet-based insurance service in Darien, Ill., top-range at $11 a share.
to near-term accumulate from near-term buy.
St. Paul Cos.
announced a cost-cutting plan under which the company expects to eliminate 1,000 jobs.