(Updated from 10:47 a.m. EDT)
The market was mixed this morning as the
Dow Jones Industrial Average leaped into the green on continued strength in Friday's winners, while the
Nasdaq Composite Index faltered near break-even. The
S&P 500 was up, as was the small-cap
Those sectors which some market pros had said might help gauge whether or not the market was past its fall slump -- the semiconductors, the brokerages and the biotechs -- were mixed. Semiconductors were getting hit after
Salomon Smith Barney
issued a negative report on the chip market and cut
2001 earnings per share estimate by 20 cents. Brokerage stocks also continued to falter, but biotechs were up.
The Dow's leaders were hardware mammoth
as well as PC-maker
( HWP), brokerage house
, all of which helped tug the blue-chip index higher Friday.
Intel was one of the biggest weights on the Nasdaq, and the index's most active. Investors were losing shares of Intel as fast as they could on the heels of Solly's report. Intel was lately down 10.4%, to $36.13.
The semiconductor company rallied nicely at the end of last week after losing over half of its value between Sep. 1 and Wednesday. Several other big tech names were also scaling back after Friday's robust rally, including PC-making bellwether
, down 3.5% to $54.13; and software Goliath
, off 6.4% to $50.31.
But other techs were mixed.
, after starting higher, was recently off 4% to $34.19.
, though, was 1.5% higher to $112.56.
Instant-film and camera-maker
( PRD) reported third-quarter earnings below forecasts this morning, blaming some softness in film sales. The company's chairman also made cautious statements concerning the fourth-quarter outlook due to the weak euro and flat revenues.
Banc of America
this morning reported earnings that were stronger than expected (excluding a few big charges).
An announcement from the companies today, made official a
deal between oil companies
( CHV) and
. Chevron plans to buy Texaco in a $35 billion stock deal. Chevron, which fell with the rest of the oil stocks Friday when oil prices eased, was lately off 5.3% to $79.75. After Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to market outperformer, Texaco was higher 3.1% to $56.81.
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Energy stocks continued to slide as oil prices slimmed, with the
American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index
down 0.5% and the
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
Oil prices were easing lower this morning after an emergency summit began today in Egypt to stop the spiraling violence in the Middle East. And Venezuelan oil unions put an end to their strike there. Brent crude oil futures for December expiration were lately trading down 3 cents to $32.55, according to
Banks were under some pressure following Bank of America's earnings report this morning. The country's biggest bank said its third-quarter profits fell 15% due to a large restructuring charge to cut costs and a drop in the value of auto leases. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
was lately down 4.8% to 802.8.
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Treasuries benefited at the end of last week due to the renewed Mideast violence, which gave the bond market enhanced appeal as a safe haven.
Overseas currency and equity markets were showing greater stability, while the bond market was losing ground in early trading. The liquid 10-year note was off 2/32 to 100 2/32 and yielding 5.740%. The 30-year note was also down, lower by 1/32 to 106 5/32, to yield 5.811%.
Further indications that oil price pressure may be falling came in a statement by the Saudi oil minister who suggested that if oil prices remain above $28 per barrel,
may increase output quotas.
With no major economic news scheduled today, it is unlikely that credit markets will show too much interest in pushing strongly in either direction and early indications of low trading volume would support this view.
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