The major indices are having a rough go of it today, held down by brokerages and computer boxmakers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is being hurt by Intel (INTC) - Get Report and Hewlett-Packard (HWP) , but even excepting those two stocks, it isn't much of a day for the 30-stock average.
The Dow was lately off 55 to 11,178; the
S&P 500 was recently up 2 to 1483, and the
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 29 to 3878. The small-cap
Russell 2000 dropped a bit to 532.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
, or the
DOT index, was up 4 to 798.
Both the Dow and the Nasdaq are feeling the impact of Intel's losses. The company was downgraded, along with fellow semiconductor maker
Advanced Micro Devices
Banc of America Securities
analyst Richard Whittington, broadly citing concerns over demand from PC makers and in the case of Intel, delivery problems. Intel was lately down 4.6% while AMD lost 6.2%.
Justin Lahart wrote about the two companies in a
separate piece this afternoon.
Concerns over weakening PC demand are being highlighted this morning by the earnings
warning from electronic components maker
, which said fiscal first-quarter profits would be lower than expected due to diminished demand. SCI is one of the
New York Stock Exchange's biggest losers today, dropping 16.9% to $46.50.
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
is down 0.2%, with the biggest losses coming from SCI's two largest PC
, down 4.4%, and
, off 3%.
With the announcement that
plans to purchase
, the takeover juice has been squeezed out of the brokerage names, and they're dropping.
After a hefty round of consolidation that culminated with yesterday's Chase-J.P. Morgan announcement, designed to enhance Chase's
clout when stacked against other recently announced combinations, the brokerage stocks are down. There's a sense among traders that the wave of
consolidation may be nearing an end, and if that's the case, the sense is that these stocks are overvalued.
Two of the market's recent big winners,
, down 4.3%, and
, off 3.8%, were losing ground today. J.P. Morgan itself is down today, losing 3.6%.
was flying, up 17.6%, on speculation that the market maker could be
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Transportation stocks were having a strong day. The
Dow Jones Transportation Average
rose 1.1%, and the
Amex Stock Exchange Airline Index
gained 1.8%. The
Dow Jones Utility Average
hit a new all-time high of 400.06 today, and was still strong lately, up 0.6% to 397.48, as investors continue to buy these stocks.
Crude oil has dropped a bit from its recent high, lately at $34.25.
gained 1.3%, and
was lately up 1.9%.
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Bond prices are higher thanks to lower oil prices and growing optimism about the monetary policy outlook. Treasury traders are also paying close attention to the corporate bond market, where more than usual new issues are competing for investor dollars.
While there is no major economic news today,
fed funds futures are discounting lower odds than ever that the
Fed will hike interest rates again this year. The December fed funds contract is putting the odds of a hike in the rate to 6.75% from 6.5% currently at just 5%, down from 21% yesterday.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lately up 9/32 at 100 2/32, dropping its yield to 5.741%.
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