Nasdaq Composite Index
has found reason for another juicy bounce this morning, as news that
shares at the same price regardless of a breakup of the company is pumping new blood into tech bulls.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
could get a little boost from the Nasdaq's joy, and S&P futures have inched upward following the upswing in Nasdaq futures this morning.
At 9:20 a.m. EDT, the
S&P 500 futures
were up 7 points, over 5 points above fair value and indicating a little bit of positive sentiment for the open. The
futures were up a hefty 64 points, indicating some buying pressure for large-cap technology stocks in the early going.
"Microsoft: everybody likes it, they think the sum of the parts will be more profitable than the whole, and that's going to take the tech stocks higher," said Brian Finnerty, head of trading at C.E. Unterberg Towbin.
"I think the bounce in tech will hold. It feels really good and Friday was really strong," he added.
Lehman Brothers analyst Michael Stanek said this morning that Microsoft shares would be worth $125 to $135 whether the company is split up or not after Friday's request from the
that the software giant be broken into two parts. For more on this
story, see our coverage from the TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom.
But tech was looking strong anyway. The fact that the Nasdaq had such a nice rebound late last week despite ugly inflation numbers Thursday and scary Soros and Microsoft news Friday seems like a good sign that it's pretty hard to keep a happy Nasdaq down.
Former tech investment wonder boys
, who ran Soros' $8.2 billion
and $1.2 billion
, respectively, resigned Friday. The two managers had bet heavily on technology names starting in the latter half of 1999 but were badly hurt by the recent tech distress. For more on this
story, take a look at the coverage out of the TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom.
Eyes will also be trained on media mammoths
today, as fans of
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
all across America will be forced to find their entertainment elsewhere.
Early this morning, Disney yanked its ABC network from Time Warner's cable stations in 11 cities after the two companies failed to resolve a dispute over programming by an April 30 deadline.
Otherwise, we are unlikely to see many wild gyrations today. After some pretty rough going in recent weeks, investors may lay low in wait of this week's productivity numbers and any sign from the Fed concerning its interest-rate hike intentions. Some say news of government intentions to break up Microsoft, as well as the possibility of a 50-basis point rate hike, have already been internalized in the market.
Wall Street is very anxious to hear the final word on interest rates, and if the news is bad enough, it could take a stab at what some see as a Nasdaq bubble. Market observers began to fear a 50-basis-point rise after the
Employment Cost Index
inflation indicator came out hotter-than-expected last Thursday.
The market is still waiting on the last few earnings stragglers this week.
Today we'll hear from
The bond market was falling off, with the 10-year note down 1/32 to 102 and yielding 6.222%. Meanwhile, no major market-moving data are in the pipeline today.
Europe was on holiday for a little flagpole jigging as it celebrates May Day. The euro was trading down at $0.9096.
Most Asian markets were closed for national holidays today, including Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea. Tokyo, meanwhile, took its cues from last week's Nasdaq rebound and the Nikkei index was up 429.38 to 18403.08.
Meanwhile, the dollar inched up to around 108.01
in Tokyo trading, but had lost some of that strength lately to trade at 107.79.