It looks like a mixed morning for stocks.
The market: Join the discussion on
Message Boards. At 9:05 a.m. EST, the
S&P 500 futures were down 1.7, a bit below fair value and indicating a modest inclination to go lower early on. That's a considerably cooler indication than the futures were giving a couple of hours ago. But in a market where six or seven significant intraday swings are getting pretty common, it's not the sort of signal that should inspire strong confidence on either the long or short side of things.
Tech looks particularly mixed. The thinly traded
futures were lately down 33.5 to 3758. That's largely because of
, which makes up 6.4% of the NDX, and which was trading down at 129 on
reporting earnings last night. The stock closed Tuesday at 148 15/16.
Qualcomm is "all volatility," said Doug Myers, vice president of equity trading at
in Atlanta. "It rockets up and rockets back down. Eventually, as they mature, all these stocks will find a level."
components are slated to report earnings today, including
is already out with upside earnings, while
numbers are in line.
that is dominating today's corporate news. The company has set plans to cut about 6,000 jobs and a fourth-quarter charge of about $800 million. The stock was trading higher on Instinet shortly after the announcement, but had lately eased to 65, down slightly from a close of 65 7/8.
It's important to note that negative surprises have been a relative scarcity this earnings season. According to
, nearly 70% of the S&P 500 firms that have already reported have come in above expectations. Fourth-quarter earnings growth is on track to come in above 20%, and it looks like analysts are starting to jack up their estimates for fiscal 2000.
Yet stocks' failure to break higher -- the S&P 500 is pretty much where it was last July, and the Dow is flat since early May -- is telling. The focus on the quality of earnings that we've seen applied to stocks like
suggests a feeling on Wall Street that prices are stretched pretty far right now.
"This is the second quarter that we've run into a quality-of-earnings issue," said Barry Hyman, chief market strategist at
Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum
. "That's an indictment of where we are in terms of valuations. We're getting deep into a market that accepts stocks trading at 70 times earnings."
The bond market was edging higher, with the 10-year note up 6/32 to 95 11/32, putting its yield at 6.666%. The 30-year Treasury was up 10/32 to 93 22/32, yielding 6.614%.
With no hugely important data scheduled, there's not much on tap to get the bonds' juices flowing beyond what we're seeing right now.
will sit before the
Senate Banking Committee
as it discusses reconfirming him for his fourth term as
chairman. Originally scheduled for 10 a.m., that event has been delayed until 2 p.m. because of inclement
The large European bourses were booming in early-afternoon trading, paced by Frankfurt's
, which was up 115.13, or 1.7%, to 6924.77. The Paris
was up 68.17, or 1.2%, to 5665.67, while London's
was 75.6 higher, or 1.2%, to 6349.7.
The euro continues to bob above dollar parity, lately trading at $1.0018.
Asian markets surged overnight. Tokyo's
rose 215.66, or 1.1%, to 19,111.19.
The dollar hit a high of 106.05 yen during Asian trading but Japanese exporters locking in profits above 106.00 yen capped any further rise. The greenback was lately trading at 105.99 yen.
In Hong Kong, the
closed up 324.68, or 2.2%, to 15,427.72. Index constituent
climbed 2.9% on news that it was entering an alliance to help
introduce its shopping service to Asia. Hutchison also said it would separate and float its Internet holdings.
fell 5.68 to 885.54 as retail investors sold telecom shares.
For a look at stocks in the preopen news, see Stocks to Watch, published separately.