No one seemed to want own
A Fistful of Dollars
today, and the greenback's slide against the yen took a big chunk of the blame for the deep selloff in the market.
Bank of Japan's
decision not to take action to weaken the yen sent the dollar diving against the Japanese currency. Not only did the news out of the BOJ not help the dollar, trade deficit data also added to the greenback's gloom. The U.S. trade deficit expanded to a record $25.2 billion in July. At a news conference this afternoon,
declined to comment on the BOJ and said -- here's a real shocker -- that the strong dollar is in the national interest.
A sour start to the trading day never improved as major market gauges all suffered heavy losses, but managed to close off their worst levels of the day.
"The dollar is really the main problem," said Scott Curtis, senior equity trader at
Brown Brothers Harriman
. The trader also mentioned
earnings warning as another factor in the market's decline.
When asked about the market's sentiment Curtis said he didn't think sentiment was overly negative. And he pointed out that the market's "just range-bound" and has been for months. Around 3 p.m. Curtis noted that volume was "pretty decent" on the Big Board.
Concern over the rise in long-term interest rates and continued worries over what the
Federal Open Market Committee
may or may not do at its Oct. 5 meeting didn't help. Also, the earthquake in Taiwan raised concerns about short-term problems production-wise for its semiconductor industry. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
Meanwhile, the blue-chip
Dow Jones Industrial Average
tumbled 225.43, or 2.1%, to 10,598.47.
provided a beefy downside influence on the Dow. Goodyear tumbled after
came out with negative comments and a downgrade of the stock.
shed 27.95, or 2.1%, to 1307.58.
Nasdaq Composite Index
fell 65.05, or 2.3%, to 2821.10.
Computer makers, which soared yesterday, got hammered, with the notable loser Apple.
wrote about the Apple situation in a story
last night. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
surrendered 6.70, or 1.6%, to 426.50.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index tumbled 11.26, or 1.8%, to 617.74.
Stephen Shobin, chief technical analyst at
, said the key support point for the Dow is 10,549, with a close under that level suggesting the Dow had made a medium-term top.
Shobin said the Dow is kind of a least common denominator between the
and the S&P 500 because the Dow hasn't made as decisive a new high as the NDX but has exceeded the performance of the S&P.
The fact that
blew by Wall Street expectations when it reported earnings did nothing to aid the brokerage sector, as the
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
said goodbye to 2.1%.
On the winning side in the market today, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold & Silver Index
Steven Goldman, market strategist at
in Greenwich, Conn., said in his view this is not a time to commit capital to the market, a feeling he's had for numerous months. Goldman said he's in "preservation of capital mode" and has been since "more or less" April or May.
In fixed income, the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond fell 9/32 to 100 14/32, yielding 6.09%, weighed down in part by the dollar's tumble against the yen.
Market internals looked about as good as the injury-riddled
New York Jets
have so far this season. On the
New York Stock Exchange
, decliners destroyed advancers 2,350 to 679 on 817.3 million shares. On the
Nasdaq Stock Market
, losers bashed winners 2,671 to 1,266 on 1.04 billion shares.
On the NYSE, 270 issues set new 52-week lows while 36 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 121 issues set new 52-week lows while new highs totaled 70.
On the Big Board,
was most active with 22.4 million shares changing hands. It rose 2 1/16 to 84 7/8 after it said it's on track for record membership growth of AOL and
services for the current quarter.
On the Nasdaq, Apple was most active with 30 million shares changing hands. It fell 9 7/8, or 12.5%, to 69 1/4.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
slumped 41.66, or 1.4%, to 2937.64; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
surrendered 6.42, or 2.1%, to 302.24; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
lost 7.87, or 1%, to 784.98.
The Score Soon: Trading 22, Sleep 2
Just can't get enough of that after-hours, before-hours, whatever-hours trading?
online brokerage are betting on it big-time. They plan to offer trading 22 hours a day and on weekends by next year, an official of their parent company said today.
The first step would be an extension of the current 8 a.m.-to-8 p.m. EDT Island session to midnight-8 p.m., probably within three months, said Edward Nicoll, president and COO of
Datek Online Holdings
. He was speaking at a
online trading conference in New York.
Sometime later, probably next year, Island's session would swell to midnight-10 p.m., Nicoll said. Finally, trading would be extended into the weekend. Nicoll offered no details on the hours of the weekend session.
Datek and Island have no plans to extend the trading day past 10 p.m., as a two-hour break is needed for trade clearing and system maintenance, Nicoll said. The expanded hours are meant to appeal to investors in Asian and European countries, he said.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
fell 131.16, or 1.9%, to 6917.90 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
dropped 79.04, or 1.6%, to 4919.79.
Tuesday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
, producer of
peanut butter and
mayonnaise, slipped 15/16 to 50 9/16 after saying it inked a deal to purchase sauce and seasoning maker
. The merger's terms remain undisclosed, but it is estimated that Bestfoods would receive a $150 million boost in sales from the Case Swayne acquisition, to total more than $600 million a year. The merger comes one week after
The Wall Street Journal
reported that Bestfoods was negotiating a possible deal with
, which was lately off 3/4 to 42.
rose 1 3/16, or 5%, to 23 1/4 after it announced plans to acquire
, in a deal valued at $183 million. Shares of Eastman Kodak slipped 1/8 to 74 13/16. According to the deal, Getty's purchase includes more than 60 million images and 30,000 hours of film footage from
United Press International
The New York Times
Chicago Historical Collection
George Eastman House Collection
Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures
added 15/16 to 64 9/16 and
climbed 4 5/8 to a record 216 5/8 after the companies said they forged a new nationwide U.S. wireless telephone pact. According to the deal's terms, Bell will hold a 55% stake in the venture, carrying a value of more than $70 billion.
Dutch supermarket company
slipped 5/16 to 33 5/8 after it said it made a deal with Britain's
Hilton Food Group
to sell the main meat-processing division of
, the company's flagship supermarket chain.
slipped 9/16 to 31 3/8 after it inked a $330 million mobile infrastructure pact with
. The deal calls for Ericsson to provide Cricket with digital mobile systems that supply voice and data services. Leap jumped 5 7/16, or 31%, to 22 7/8.
slipped 1 3/4 to 41 3/4 after it said it's negotiating a possible acquisition of online auction technology provider
. The companies said they have submitted a nonbinding memorandum of understanding and filed for U.S. antitrust approval.
fell 9/16 to 29 5/8 and
U S West
edged down 1/16 to 55 15/16 after the companies said that federal and state applications for their $35 billion agreement will be finished by tomorrow. In a joint statement, the companies said roughly 500,000 Qwest shareholders and a million U S West owners would receive a copy of their final joint merger proxy for their stockholder meetings on Nov. 2.
inched up 1/16 to 33 5/16 after it announced plans to buy
Southern Foods Group
in a deal valued at $6 billion. According to the terms of the transaction, Suiza would hold a 66.2% stake in the merger, with the remaining interest held by
Dairy Farmers of America
, which owns half of Southern Foods. The joint business, which will be known as
Suiza Fluid Dairy Group
, will receive raw milk from Dairy Farmers. Suiza said that Southern President and CEO Pete Schenkel will replace Suiza President and CEO G. Irwin Gordon, who has decided to leave the company, upon the deal's completion.
Earnings/Revenue Reports and Previews
Apple shares dropped 9 7/8, or 13%, to 69 1/4 after the company warned investors that it would post fourth-quarter earnings well below the previous quarter's 69 cents a share, missing the 19-analyst estimate of 76 cents,
reported. Apple blamed the disappointing earnings on delivery problems with
G4 processor chips, which are used in Apple's Power Mac G4 computers. Shares of Motorola fell 2 13/16 to 87 7/8.
lost 1 1/16, or 6.7%, to 14 7/8 despite posting second-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share, in line with the seven-analyst estimate of 55 cents and beating the year-ago 45 cents.
lost 1 1/8 to 29 7/8 after warning investors that it would report disappointing fiscal 1999 results of around $3.20 to $3.30 a share.
climbed 1 1/4 to 31 3/8 after it posted second-quarter earnings of 91 cents a share, in line with the 15-analyst estimate of 91 cents and beating the year-ago 81 cents.
Discount Auto Parts
lost 3/4 to 17 after posting first-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share, missing the five-analyst estimate of 45 cents and the year-ago 42 cents.
lost 1 5/8 to 59 1/8 despite posting third-quarter earnings of $1.32 a share, easily beating the 11-analyst estimate of $1.09 cents.
lost 1/16 to 22 13/16 despite reporting second-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, in line with the six-analyst estimate of 27 cents a share and beating the year-ago 24 cents.
fell 1/16 to 6 15/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, missing the three-analyst estimate of 4 cents a share but up from the year-ago 72-cent loss.
Pepsi Bottling Group
added 1 3/16, or 7%, to 17 11/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 59 cents a share, beating the three-analyst estimate of 55 cents but down from the year-ago 81 cents.
slipped 3/8, or 8%, to 4 1/4 after it preannounced a first-quarter loss of $1.20 to $1.30 a share, well below the 11-analyst estimate of a $1.06 loss.
Offerings and Stock Actions
raised the size of its planned IPO to 4 million shares from 3 million and raised the expected share offering range to $17 to $19 a share from $14 to $16.
is serving as the deal's lead underwriter.
fell 1/8 to 8 1/16 after saying it set a 25 million-share buyback. The company just finished a 7.5 million repurchasing plan.
rose 1/6 to 32 1/2 after it set an additional 25 million-share buyback.
fell 2 1/8 to 88 5/8 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.
Bed Bath & Beyond
tacked on 1 7/8, or 7%, to 30 13/16 after
raised its rating on the company to a strong buy from a buy. Last night,
said the company would become part of the S&P index after trading closed today.
slipped 1/16 to 9 7/8 after
started coverage on the stock with near-term and long-term accumulate ratings.
lost 1/4 to 6 3/8 after
rolled out coverage with a neutral rating.
slipped 1/4 to 61 7/16 after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
reinstated coverage with a strong buy rating.
inched down 7/8 to 22 /16 after
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
initiated coverage with a buy rating.
Goodyear lost 4 5/8, or 9%, to 47 5/16 after
sliced its rating to a market perform from a long-term buy.
fell 3 5/16, or 30% to 7 19/32 after Morgan Stanley hammered down its price target on the stock to 15 from 18.
Banc of America Securities
cut its fiscal 1999 earnings estimates on Goodyear to $5.04 a share from $5.33.
shaved off 11/16 to 39 15/16 after J.P. Morgan started coverage with a market perform and set a price target of 45.
added 1 5/16 to 44 11/16 after Lehman Brothers upped its fiscal 1999 and 2000 per-share earnings estimates to $4.03 from $4.00 and to $4.65 from $4.60, respectively.
Park Place Entertainment
added 3/8 to 10 15/16 after J.P. Morgan rolled out coverage with a buy rating and a price target of 14.
fell 1 3/16, or 7%, to 16 15/16 after Morgan Stanley sliced its rating to neutral from outperform.
lost 1/16 to 45 1/2 after Morgan Stanley reinitiated coverage with a strong buy rating.
tacked on 7/16 to 11 1/4 after
initiated coverage on the stock with intermediate market-perform and long-term outperform ratings.
lost 1 1/8 to 102 1/16 despite
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown's
initiation of coverage with a strong buy rating.
lost 9/16 to 13 15/16 after saying it chose Executive Vice President Robert Blair to become its president and CEO. Blair is replacing Fred Chan, who will continue to serve as the company's chairman.
was unchanged at 17 3/8 after saying it tapped President and COO Craig Conway to serve as the company's CEO.
added 7/16 to 30 15/16 after the company said an initial survey of the earthquake in Taiwan indicates that it could lose roughly 10% of September's wafer production. The company said the analysis is not complete and normal operations would resume gradually over the next several days.
slipped 5/8, or 9%, to 6 1/4 after saying it tapped George Platt to become its new president and CEO. Platt will replace William Jobe, who stepped down in July.