Continued fears of slowing earnings growth pressured the
Nasdaq Composite Index at the open following several earnings warnings from tech companies last night and this morning, including PC-making bellwether
Some saw yesterday's early morning dip to 3382 on the Nasdaq as a bottom, or the level at which fund managers and investors decide that stocks look attractive enough to buy. But the market couldn't seem to decide. The Nasdaq was flipping around in early action.
Dow Jones Industrial Average was doing some of the same. After rallying through the Nasdaq's pain during the past week, the blue-chip index was hopping between red and green.
S&P 500 was narrowly in the red, while
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was falling under
pressure again. The company, which warned of a revenue weakness late last month, announced this morning that it would shut down operations of its Web-house gas and groceries licensee.
Semiconductors were getting whacked this morning, despite
blowout fiscal fourth-quarter earnings from chip-making bellwether
cut estimates and
cut the price target on Micron this morning.
Analysts were happy with the fourth-quarter numbers, but worried about chip prices
going forward. Micron was off 7.1%. Other semiconductor stocks
Advanced Micro Devices
were also lower, off 0.3% and 3.8%.
warning was tugging the other PC-makers lower, including
. Dell was off 7.8%, Compaq was 6.9% lower, H-P was down 4.3%, IBM was losing 1.8% and Apple was off 2.9%
H-P and IBM were the culprits for the Dow's late malaise, lately stealing over 22 and 10 points from the index, respectively.
New York Stock Exchange
were slipping after issuing earnings warnings. Pitney was off 29.7% and J.C. Penney was down 5.6%.
has been tracking many of the warnings in a
Dow Jones Industrial Average component to issue a report this season, Alcoa
this morning reported earnings in line with expectations. The world's largest aluminum manufacturer, Alcoa is already up 11.2% for the week.
Back to top
Airline stocks were rising for a third day in a row, boosting the
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
2.5% and the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was flat at $45.75.
Paper were shedding recent strength, weighing on the
Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index
, which was off 1.1%, and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index
, which was down 2%. Shared components
were both down.
The energy sector, which has been falling all week, continued down after oil prices fell overnight. The
American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index
was off 0.8%, the
Chicago Board Options Exchange Oil Index
was down 1.2%, and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
was 0.5% lower.
Back to top
Treasuries are little changed on not much news ahead of tomorrow's release of the September
employment report, the most important economic report to roll around each month.
There are no major economic reports today, although at 2 p.m. EDT the
Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes of its Aug. 22 meeting.
At its most recent meeting on Tuesday, the FOMC
cited the still-high level of labor-force utilization -- aka low unemployment rates -- as its main reason for maintaining its aggressive posture on interest rates.
The employment report will provide the latest readings on unemployment, with possible implications for monetary policy. In August, the regular unemployment rate stood at 4.1% and the
augmentedunemploymentrate -- the measure preferred by the
Fed -- stood at 6.9%.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note lately was up 2/32 to 98 31/32 and yielding 5.888%.
Back to top