No one told the
Dow Jones Industrial Average that there's an election tomorrow. The major market barometer was up strongly -- nary a pre-election jitter in sight -- with just two hours until the trading bells go ding-ding and all those traders go bye-bye. Tomorrow, all those voting machines go clang-clang, and the new President thanks America.
The Dow's been rampaging all day long. Right after the open, it spent a grand total of three minutes in the red and then took off like Evel Kneivel with a brand-new death wish. By 1:10 p.m. EST, the Dow briefly touched the magical 11,000 barrier. That's much better than that freakish mid-October slip below 10,000, now isn't it?
Certainly is. The Dow components were either very strong, posting some nice gains, or barely lower. Twenty-three of the 30 blue-chips were positive, with
leading the way, adding 23 to the Dow's gain.
were also quite good.
Nasdaq Composite Index
started with a nice gain, at one point nearly 30 points into the plus side, but then it dropped into the red at midmorning and has been wrestling with its opening number. At publishing time, it couldn't shake out of the red.
It's been a pretty break-even day overall on the Nasdaq. Losers are overpowering winners, with 20 Nasdaq issues posting losses for every 18 with gains. Volume has been brisk. As for news, well, it's all been about
Tonight, Cisco will release its earnings and everyone's eyes are on the company, which has one of the largest market caps of any in the world, sharing the stage with giants Microsoft and General Motors. And given the recent earnings season, and the dreadful spate of earnings warnings that ushered it in, many investors were skittish about Cisco's fortunes. Fears are that the company will miss either estimates or the nebulous "whisper number," the unrecorded and undefined combination of expectation and rumor that hard-core street traders use to assess earnings.
Cisco was lately off 2.5%.
Elsewhere in tech, a rotting, acrid smell wafted out of the Linux sector, a non-Windows-based computing system that is Microsoft's biggest competition. The stink started earlier today when
announced that its first quarter wouldn't really look as good as it had previously hoped. The wolves came out and devoured the company whole. It has fallen 41.5%, one of the Nasdaq's biggest busts.
The encroaching weakness in VA Linux killed the fortunes of many other Linux-related stocks.
, which makes the Red Hat operating system, a Windows competitor, fell 7%.
, another Linux software maker, fell 2.3%.
Big movers were in short supply, as everybody in the pool decides to tread water ahead of that little Presidential election that everyone's so darned interested in.
Financials were split this afternoon, as the insurers stay well above water and the brokers gurgle below the surface. The
S&P Insurance Index
rose 2.7%, regaining some upward momentum after last week's steady stumble. Still, insurers are in great shape, trading not far from record highs. But brokers, despite the nice 2.4% run-up in
, weren't looking so good. The
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
fell 1.8%, as
both had terrible days.
Blow the whistle. Buddy up!
A quick "buddy check" around the good ol' free swim shows that wireless plays in the
PHLX Wireless Telecom Sector
were splashing in the loss column, along with most of the techs. Kicking stronger in the win column were drug stocks. The
AMEX Pharmaceutical Index
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Bonds opened slightly lower this morning in light volume, ahead of tomorrow's elections. There are no new economic data.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note is at 99 5/32, down 8/32, to yield 5.863%.
Treasury bond is at 105, 13/32 lower, to yield 5.891%.
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