A big software company raised havoc in an otherwise sleepy market this morning.
Long Island, N.Y.-based
fell more than 15% by mid-morning after warning of weak sales in Europe. A Big Board stock, the software giant dragged the tech-heavy
down with it, while the
hovered slightly above their open. Meanwhile, analysts staked their bets on both sides.
downgraded Computer Associates, while
Cowen & Co.
What to do when an company with a history of checkered management loses three vice presidents in a day? Buy. At least that's what investors were doing in response to the seemingly bleak news from
, whose stock was up to 3 3/8 from its 2 13/16 open on Friday. As reported in
State Street Research
mutual fund manager Daniel Rice, whose natural resources fund is in the running as the number-one equity performer this year, has been buying Arakis big lately.
Finally, Uncle Sam's largesse boosted a disaster play.
, which landed a $52 million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to deliver explosive detection systems for scanning baggage at the nation's busiest airports, jumped over 30%, or 8 1/4, to 33 3/4 on the news.
Competitors' stock, however, did not respond much:
Magal Security Systems
was unchanged at 5,
fell 1/4 to 18 3/4 while
American Science & Engineering
gained 7/8 to 11 5/8. This summer all four stocks skyrocketed after the crash of a TWA plane that many suspected had been brought down by an explosive device. Since then they have all dropped precipitously and, excepting Invision, trade near 52-week lows.
By Jamie Heller and Avi Stieglitz