At midday, investors were still not giving into that "buy low" temptation brought on by the past two trading session selloffs. With the
muddling around its positive opening, maybe market movers and makers are looking before they jump. Just like the self-indulgent children who visited
Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory found out, succumbing to temptation might not be that sweet.
On the eve of the
Producer Price Index
announcement, coupled with an expected rate hike looming in November, many investors are paying full attention to the, "invest at your own risk" signs that are plastered all over the market.
"I think the market is searching for a bottom here," said Dan Marciano, head of trading at
, while reflecting on tomorrow's PPI announcement and next week's CPI numbers. "Basically, Greenspan has put the fear of God in people. When we discuss all of the possible scenarios that could come out of the last
meeting, I said that the worse scenario would be switching its bias, which it did," Marciano added.
"Producer Price Index could show inflationary pressures are pretty strong, putting a lid on this mornings rally," said Bruce Bittles, market strategist at
, agreeing that tomorrow's report could hinder a positive market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 38, or 0.4%, to 10,270, with
tumbling 1 to 141 leading the decline.
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
, which was sinking 1.4 to 742.
Nasdaq Composite Index
was in red territory, stumbling 3.1 to 2798.
, losing 5 1/2 to 199 and
, skidding 4 7/16 to 199 15/16, despite an estimate upgrade from
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
were plummeting 10 1/16 to 125 on the Nasdaq, after the company posted a third-quarter loss yesterday evening and fell prey to a downgrade by
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
New York Stock Exchange
was still faltering from yesterday's accounting problems scare, down 7, or 7.2%, to 90, while
was also performing poorly, tumbling 15 1/4, or 36.1%, to 27 after reporting soft revenues.
While some investors might be considering third-quarter earnings to gauge their decisions, others are looking to the bond market for guidance.
"Bonds are really running the show here and equities are reacting to the bonds," said Brian Gilmartin, portfolio manager at
Trinity Asset Management
. Corporate earnings have already been discounted, Gilmartin added.
On the bond front, the benchmark 30-year Treasury was down 0.16 to 97.14, with its yield 6.31%.
Other stock proxies were also bleeding, with the broad
down 2.1 to 1283, while the small-cap
fell 1.1 to 418. The
Street.com Internet Index
was contradicting other indices, bouncing 6.4 to 698, with
In other Big Board news, decliners were leveling advancers, 1831 to 996 on 513 million shares, while on the Nasdaq, laggards were also edging out leaders 2011 to 1488 on 596 million shares. The new 52-week lows were pummeling the new 52-week highs on the NYSE, 276 to 17, while on the Nasdaq new lows were also beating out highs 92 to 43.
Thursday's Midday Watchlist
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.
fell 1/8 to 72 after it agreed to buy
for around $1.5 billion in cash. Intel is paying $36 a share for DSP, a hefty premium over DSP's closing price of 28 yesterday. DSP racked up 7 3/16, or 25.7%, to 35 3/16.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
shined up 6 3/8, or 9.9%, to 70 7/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings last night of 51 cents a share, beating the downwardly revised 17-analyst estimate of 45 cents, but down from the year-ago 68 cents.
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
upped Apple to top pick from buy, while
Credit Suisse First Boston
raised its 2000 earnings estimates to $3.20 from $3.15 per share.
slipped 1/16 to 58 1/4 after posting third-quarter operating earnings of 68 cents a share, in line with the 14-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 58 cents.
Bausch & Lomb
lost sight of 3 1/2, or 5.3%, to 62 5/8 despite reporting third-quarter earnings of 78 cents a share, well above the 10-analyst estimate of 63 cents and up from the year-ago 64 cents.
edged up 7/16 to 36 3/16 after posting third-quarter earnings of 74 cents a share, beating the 11-analyst estimate of 70 cents and up from the year-ago operating earnings of 14 cents.
fell 13/16 to 64 5/16 after posting third-quarter earnings of $1.33 a share, beating the 13-analyst estimate of $1.24.
chalked up an extra 2 7/8, or 5.3%, to 56 3/4 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, which excludes a charge of 2 cents, well above the 13-analyst estimate of 63 cents and up from the year-ago 32 cents.
moved down 1 3/16 to 33 1/2 after posting third-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst estimate.
fell 1 7/16 to 35 11/16 after it reported third-quarter operating earnings of 84 cents a share, in line with the 24-analyst estimate, but down from the year-ago $1.02.
slipped 1/16 to 26 5/16 after posting third-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share, above the 14-analyst estimate of 58 cents and up from the year-ago 57 cents.
edged up 1/4 to 9 5/8 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, a penny better than the six-analyst estimate, but down from the year-ago 36 cents.
slipped 15/16 to 17 3/4 after posting first-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, below the three-analyst estimate of 32 cents and the year-ago 31 cents.
rose 11/16 to 74 5/8 after posting first-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, better than the 19-analyst estimate of 33 cents, and up from a year ago 11 cents.
inched up 5/16 to 51 9/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 96 cents a share, beating the 10-analyst estimate of 92 cents.
wasn't looking picture-perfect, down 3 13/16, or 15%, to 21 9/16 after reporting third-quarter operating earnings of 50 cents a share, in line with the nine-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 40 cents.
climbed 3/4 to 28 13/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share, in line with the 10-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 12 cents.
Unisys plummeted 13 1/8, or 31.4%, to 29 despite reporting third-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, above the 11-analyst estimate of 36 cents and up from 25 cents a year ago.
downgraded Unisys to neutral from attractive.
skidded 1 15/16 to 41 11/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of $1.07 a share, well above the nine-analyst estimate of $1 and up from a year-ago 74 cents.
Westinghouse Air Brake
fell 1/8 to 16 13/16 after posting third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst estimate and up from 42 cents a year ago.
lost 9/16 to 21 7/8 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 67 cents a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago 57 cents. The company said weather problems reduced income by about $700,000, or 1 cent a share.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
cooled 1 to 20 after PaineWebber downgraded it to neutral from buy.
climbed 1/8 to 53 5/16 after PaineWebber initiated coverage with an attractive rating.
fell 3 1/8 to 69 3/8 after it filed suit in federal court against
unit, claiming that
recently introduced hotel service infringes on priceline.com's patent. Shares of Microsoft slipped 13/16 to 90 3/8.
Separately, Microsoft formed an alliance with
, lately up 2 3/4 to 163, to combine resources to develop handheld wireless devices using
as the operating system.
climbed 2 7/8, to 156 1/4 after saying it was planning a $150 million holiday marketing budget for its Playstation including tie-ins with
, a unit of
Tricon Global Restaurants
, a unit of