The major indices were all over the place this morning, with the
Nasdaq Composite Index lately tossing on either side of the flatline, and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average making some solid headway into the green.
At least one trader said he didn't think any trend would establish itself until after 10:30 a.m. EDT.
"The open is just a poker game," said Sam Ginzburg, senior managing director of equity trading at
downgrade on optical stocks
this morning sank the tech-heavy Nasdaq right out of the gate. Cisco was lately down 3.2%, while Nortel was down 1.3%.
Bernstein blamed the downgrade on concerns of a slowdown in spending on telecommunications equipment, spreading Cisco and Nortel's pain to other fiber-optic names such as
, as well as to telecom equipment names such as
. Corning was lately off 2.9%, JDS Uniphase was 1.2% lower, Motorola was losing 1.9%; 3Com was up, though, by 2.6%.
, however, was rising, up 7.6%, with traders suggesting that the stock put in a bottom yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Dow was doing a pretty good job of fighting off continued weakness in
. Kodak was putting pressure on the index for a third straight day this morning after warning that its third-quarter earnings per share would fall 20 cents to 25 cents below its previous forecast. Kodak has fallen some 32% in the past three days, and was currently slicing 13 points from the Dow. Tech bigwig
was also pressuring the Dow, slashing some 10 points.
Procter & Gamble
were the Dow's rising stars. H-P has was adding some 15 points of upside to the blue-chip benchmark, as was Procter. Procter was getting a lift after it said this morning that it thinks double-digit EPS growth on the year is achievable.
was finally getting a little lift after tearing into the red in the past week following an earnings warning. Intel was up 0.4%. And Exodus
was getting clobbered following news of its plans to acquire
GlobalCenter Web-hosting unit for about $6.5 billion in stock. A deal was initially aborted two months ago. Exodus, one of the Nasdaq's most actives, was down 10.5%.
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Internet stocks were making a comeback this morning after
made positive comments on the sector and said yesterday's sell-off was unwarranted. Internet stocks had a lousy session yesterday after
warned of an earnings miss.
Morgan made positive comments on
, which were rising 1.1%, 8.2% and 5.8%.
Internet incubators such as
Internet Capital Group
were also bouncing back after hitting 52-week lows in trading yesterday. CMGI was up 8.7%, while Internet Capital rose 2.2%.
The energy stocks were giving up their traditional strength at the open. The
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
was off 0.8%. Other defensive stocks continued to show strength however, with the
Amex Tobacco Index
up 3.8%, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
1.8% higher and the
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
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The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lately up 4/32 at 99 18/32, yielding 5.808%.
The 10-year note lost some ground yesterday after the
Consumer Price Index
After discovering a software error, the Labor Department revised the consumer price for the first eight months of this year to a 2.7% rise instead of 2.6%. Separately, new orders for durable goods rose 2.9% in August.
Overall CPI inflation was running at a rate of 3.4% in August, while core CPI inflation -- which excludes food and energy -- was running at 2.5%, nearly a two-year high.
wrote about the
A higher inflation rate devalues bonds because it erodes the value of the fixed interest payments they make.
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