Investors looking for a relief rally got a bit of a break this morning. But even after yesterday's
market meltdown, Wall Street experts are not convinced that stocks have hit bottom.
On the heels of yesterday's 436-point loss on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average, the
blue-chip index has been rising and falling all morning. But while every Dow stock closed down yesterday,
J.P. Morgan Chase
were higher in recent trading.
Nasdaq Composite Index, which closed below 2,000 yesterday for the first time since December 1998, was gaining. At last look, large-cap technology stocks that hit new 52-week lows yesterday were bouncing back from the selloff.
advanced 4.8% to $17.88,
rose 6.2% to $16.06 and
lifted 2.1% to $50.75. Groups on the upswing included chipmakers, PC manufacturers, and dot-coms.
In the face of today's gains, market gurus caution investors to beware of a sucker's rally, because there aren't any catalysts for a sustainable rally. "We are way oversold here, but the problem with yesterday's selloff is that there was no real volume -- not enough to convince anyone we've seen a real bottom in here," said Ray Hawkins, vice president of block trading at
J.P. Morgan Chase
As if the headlines from
could get any worse. Just days after it set plans to slash up to 17% of its workforce, the networking giant
said it remains doubtful about its future. "We are not seeing a turnaround," CEO John Chambers said this morning at the
Global Investor conference in New York. Six weeks into the networking giant's fiscal third quarter, Chambers said, "We see the same slow growth we saw in January." Despite the comments, Cisco was up 5.98% to $19.94 -- though its bad news was one of the catalysts for yesterday's plunge.
-- up 0.3% to $15.01, said it's cutting 7,000 jobs in its cell-phone unit and taking a charge on its first and second-quarter results. Just yesterday, rival
-- off 2.99% to $6.09, said it would report a loss instead of a profit for its upcoming fiscal first quarter.
In economic news, the
retail sales report for February, released this morning, confirmed that consumers curbed their spending significantly last month. Sales were much lower than economists had been expecting. The data help make the case for aggressive rate cuts to get the economy back on its feet. Indeed the
fed fund futures contract, a good proxy of expected monetary policy, has fully priced in a 50 basis-point ease in the
fed funds rate at the
Federal Reserve's upcoming meeting on March 20.
On the mergers and acquisitions front, mobile-phone maker
-- up 4.9% to $22.49, announced it was selling two plants to contract manufacturer
-- higher by 4.3% to $16.70. And diversified conglomerate
-- lower by 10.6% to $45.31, struck a deal to buy
-- up 34.95% to $30.65, for about $9.2 billion.