We don't have to wait till tomorrow
We don't have to wait till tomorrow
What you say?
(We don't have to wait till tomorrow)
It must have been right, so forever, goodnight, listen at 'cha .
SAN FRANCISCO -- It's highly doubtful
was thinking about Wall Street when he wrote/sang the above. But with most market players talking about waiting for Friday's employment data and the forthcoming holiday weekend before making substantive bets, some investors decided they didn't need to
Wait Until Tomorrow
Bellwether Net stocks fell in concert with the bond market but most major market averages ended higher. Beneath the surface, some individual stocks were subjected to decidedly volatile preholiday, pre-employment report trading.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
snapped a four-session losing streak, rising as high as 10,941.36 before closing up 108.60, or 1%, to 10,937.88. Strength in
paced the index.
Other tech bellwethers, notably chip stocks such as
, joined IBM on the upside, with Intel helping the
Nasdaq Composite Index
rise as high as 2768.55 early on.
Intel rose 1.4% after
upped its earning estimates and said they are "anticipating an upside earnings preannouncement" from the chip giant. Other semis got a boost from
Banc of America Securities
analyst Rick Whittington, who initiated coverage on seven names with strong buy recommendations and two with buys. Among those aided were
, up 6.3% to an all-time high of 76 7/16, and
, higher by 5.7%. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
But the Comp closed off its high, up 11.46, or 0.4%, to 2750.81. The tech-assuaged index was restrained by weakness in Net names such as
and a huge drop in recent high-flyer
Qualcomm lost 12.2% after
issued some cautious comments about the company's earning prospects and Banc of America downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index fell 2.81, or 0.5%, to 563.14 after struggling to find any positive footing even at the broader market's heights.
Speaking of which, the
rose 10.65, or 0.8%, to 1331.06 while the
gained 3.16, or 0.7%, to 430.99.
Much as they mainly dismissed recent weakness, most market players cautioned against reading too much into today's advance.
"There's been action, but the volume is crappy. That's why you're getting these wacky movements," said one New York-based trader. "Nobody is around. Everybody is leaving early to play golf or go on vacation. A lot of people are taking off tomorrow
and Friday. If they need to do business, they do it from their cell but will try to keep it as minimal as possible, which is smart."
The trader, who requested anonymity, said the period right before and after Labor Day is generally strong for equities and "would probably lean toward buying here."
But "coming into the next couple of weeks I'd start selling, then stay on the sidelines and get short before late September," he said. "There's a lot of skittish people out there and the bond market is saying inflation is perking up its head."
The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 6/32 to 100 18/32 today, its yield rising to 6.08%.
New York Stock Exchange
trading, 708.2 million shares were exchanged while advancers led declining stocks 1,703 to 1,251. In
Nasdaq Stock Market
action 925.7 million shares traded while gainers led 2,073 to 1,809. New 52-week lows bested new highs 90 to 24 on the Big Board but new highs led 74 to 50 in over-the-counter trading.
Warming Up the Roller Coaster
"Today is a bounce after the selloff that came after the Dow hit an all-time high" last
Wednesday, said Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at
. "Once we come back from Labor Day, it's possible we see a rally that takes us to new highs
but then we get on the roller coaster. We're already on the roller coaster but we're not at full power."
Notwithstanding expectations for a postholiday rally, Bleier recommends long-term investors "buy a little insurance" for their portfolios, specifically with protective puts.
The market has been mainly range-bound since mid-July, the strategist said, predicting the Dow will stay in a trading range between 11,500 and 10,500 and the S&P between 1200 and 1450 "until the end of the year."
Concerns about inflation and the
will be a restraining force, he said, but "the Fed is not going raise rates again."
Bleier's prediction stems from a belief economic figures are "not going to be as wildly powerful as they need to be" to encourage the central bank to raise rates in October, which is "seasonally the worst time of the year." In addition, "real or perceived problems with regard to Y2K will cause some type of disruption," Bleier said, ahead of which "the Fed is not going to take overt and aggressive action."
Noting a lengthy article in
yesterday headlined "U.S. Prepares for Possible Y2K Violence," the strategist observed the end of the millennium has already crept into the market's consciousness. "It's going to be like a full moon and a high tide and all that crazy stuff all rolled into one," he said. "And there's little history to use as a guide as to what may or may not happen."
In the meantime, day traders are "alive and well," Bleier said. The action in Qualcomm today is an example of what happens when day traders flee a stock. Meanwhile,
, up 12%, and
Internet Capital Group
, up 6.8% to an all-time high of 80 1/16, suggest there is still "rampant speculation," he said.
Internet Capital has risen 567% since going public at $12 a share Aug. 5.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 28.34, or 0.9%, to 3104.44; the
Dow Jones Utility Average
added 1.09, or 0.4%, to 316.95; and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
gained 7.78, or 1%, to 783.19.
Elsewhere in North American equities, the
Toronto Stock Exchange 300
rose 7.49 to 6,978 and the
Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index
dropped 87.93, or 1.7%, to 5,086.
Wednesday's Company Report
Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
, the leading seller of packaged
freeware, plans to set up a wholly owned Japanese subsidiary by the end of the month, the
Nihon Keizai Shimbun
reported. The company, which canceled its contract with
last week, hopes the new subsidiary will help sort out its jumbled operations in Japan. The stock, which has soared since its Aug. 10 debut at $14 a share, closed down 2 1/2 to 79 5/8.
The Nasdaq had a good day despite the selling in Qualcomm, which is finally backing off a bit from the latest in a long series of huge run-ups this year. The stock got slammed 23 1/2, or 12.2%, to 168 11/16 after
analyst Mark Roberts said that pricing pressures and a components shortage may keep the company from blowing away earnings estimates in the fourth quarter; the 16-analyst consensus calls for earnings of 96 cents a share. Later in the day Banc of America Securities threw its own 2 cents in, cutting the stock to buy from strong buy. Qualcomm is still up about 673% on the year.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
edged up 3/4 to 34 9/16 after it agreed to form a joint venture with
which added 15/16 to 42 5/16 . Chesapeake says it expects sales of about $200 million from the joint venture which combines its color-box business with Georgia's graphic packaging unit.
was hammered after setting plans to buy
-- the parent company of
, the fourth-largest discount broker in the U.S. -- for $850 million in cash. H&R Block lost 4 5/8, or 8.3% to 51.
lost 15/16, or 10.8%, to 7 7/8 after it said its planned sale to its CEO and
Leonard Green & Partners
has been terminated.
gained 2 15/16, or 10.1%, to 32 after
The Wall Street Journal
is in talks to buy it in a deal valued at significantly more than Promus' current market cap of $2.4 billion. Hilton lost 1/2 to 11 11/16.
lost 1 25/32, or 19.1%, to 11 1/4 after it said it turned down a $380 million buyout proposal from its largest institutional shareholder and that it would consider strategic alternatives, including the sale of the company.
stepped in and cut its 2000 earnings estimate to 80 cents a share from $1.18 based on the increased risk and expense of a new workers' compensation insurance plan.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
lost 7/16, or 5.5%, to 7 3/4 after posting a second-quarter loss of 42 cents a share, a penny wider than the four-analyst estimate.
Extending yesterday's losses,
dropped 3 15/16, or 12.8%, to 26 3/4 after saying last night that its fourth-quarter 1999 and fiscal 2000 estimates may be hurt by the departure of customer IBM from the network switch/router business. Yesterday Big Blue announced a pact with
to supply network integration services to Cisco's customers.
examined the deal in a
piece last night.
Offerings and stock actions
CB Richard Ellis Services
added 9/16 to 13 1/16 after it set a share buyback for up to $5 million of its common stock.
, operator of
Chuck E. Cheese
restaurants, gained 1 13/16, or 6.5%, to 29 11/16 after it said it would buy up to $25 million of its common stock in addition to a previously completed $15 million-share buyback plan.
was grounded 24 11/16, or 12.1%, to 180 1/4 after filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
for a secondary offering of up to 5.75 million common shares. Juniper went public a little more than two months ago.
gained 1 13/16 to 57 3/4 after it said it will ask shareholders to approve issuance of new shares in connection with a planned $2.5 billion hostile takeover of merging rivals
Cyprus Amax Minerals
. Shares of Asarco rose 1 1/8, or 5.4%, to 22, while shares of Cyprus inched up 13/16 to 17 3/4. Separately, Phelps said it would cut costs at its mining operations in Morenci, Ariz., by about 10 percent.
Forest and paper-product stocks got a pop from some kind words from PaineWebber:
- Weyerhaeuser (WY) - Get Report, raised to buy from attractive, was up 1 3/16 to 57 7/16.
Westvaco (W) - Get Report, also upped to buy from attractive, was up 2 1/16, or 8%, to 28.
Temple-Inland (TIN) , raised to buy from neutral, added 2 to 64.
International Paper (IP) - Get Report, upgraded to attractive from neutral, rose 1 9/16 to 48 5/8.
Salomon Smith Barney
energized the brokerage sector today, raising third-quarter earnings estimates for
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
, citing better-than-expected international business and relatively benign effects from widening credit spreads.
- Goldman, whose earnings-per-share estimate was raised to $1.15 from 90 cents, rose 1/2 to 60 5/16.
Lehman, whose earnings-per-share estimate was raised to $2.10 from $1.65, was up 1 5/8 to 55 3/8.
Morgan, whose earnings-per-share estimate was raised to $1.70 from $1.50, added 7/16 to 129 5/8.
Continuing today's analyst trend of rating every single business in a given sector at once, Banc of America Securities initiated coverage of nine semiconductor companies with mostly bullish ratings. The following companies received strong buy ratings:
; Conexant Systems;
Applied Micro Circuits
and TranSwitch were rated buys.
Despite the nod, Galileo lost 2 1/4 to 49 3/4. Conexant lifted 4 1/2, or 6.3%, to 76 7/16; Applied Micro Circuits added 2 3/4 to 94 3/4; Broadcom lost 3/16 to 128 1/2; PMC-Sierra rose 2 1/4 to 95 1/4; Vitesse tacked on 2 to 69 7/8; Semtech gained 1 to 71 1/8; Lattice rose 1 1/16 to 62 7/8; and TranSwitch clicked up 2 13/16, or 5.7%, to 52 1/2.
fell 3 3/4, or 10%, to 33 1/4 after
downgraded it to near-term neutral from near-term accumulate.
rose 2 1/8 to 60 13/16 after
Warburg Dillon Read
raised its 12-month price target to 72 from 64 following the firm's decision to buy
for $313 million. CTSI was up 5/16 to 18 1/2.
put on 1 15/16, or 5.1%, to 40 5/16 after
Brown Brothers Harriman
raised the stock to short-term strong buy from buy and set a price target of 52 to 54.
was unchanged at 21 7/8 after Banc of America upped its rating to strong buy from buy.
Teradyne added 3 3/8, or 9.9%, to 37 3/8 after Morgan Stanley reiterated its strong buy rating on the company.
rose 1 11/16, or 13.4%, to 14 5/16 after
raised the stock to strong buy from buy.
-- an operator of private prisons 54%-owned by security firm
-- was punished 3, or 15.8%, to 15 15/16 after
Warburg Dillon Read
cut its earnings-per-share estimate for fiscal 2000 to $1.27 from $1.30.
was unchanged at 19 1/8 after it named Patrick Madden president and CEO of its
Advest Bank & Trust
unit. Madden has been with the company since 1993 and was formerly executive vice president.
unit Salomon Smith Barney said it will offer individual investors after-hours trading later this month through
, which now runs a 6 p.m.-to-8 p.m. EDT session for clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's
Dreyfus Brokerage Services
. Citigroup gained 7/16 to 44 7/8.
moved up 6 1/2, or 11%, to 66 on no particular news whatsoever.
lost 1/4, or 8.2%, to 2 13/16 after it said the
is conducting an investigation involving activities of its Florida subsidiary is involved in an investigation.
hired a team of specialists to help it restructure the remaining shreds of the company. Share trading was halted on the
Nasdaq Stock Market
after the company filed for bankruptcy protection last month. In another piece of good news, the company said CFO Leo Mondale will step down after a lengthy tenure of about four months.
New York Times
lost 1/8 to 38 15/16 after saying it will raise the suggested Monday-through-Saturday newsstand price of
The New York Times
to 75 cents from 60 cents starting Sept. 13. The Sunday edition of the
will remain at $2.50.