The major indices came off their lows to close down by just double-digits -- something that lately (and sadly) can be considered an OK trading day.
Dow Jones Industrial Average and the
Nasdaq Composite Index hit their lows of the day at mid-afternoon. The Dow was logging triple-digit losses then, and the Nasdaq crossed the 100-point-loss mark several times, as well.
Negative research notes and earnings warnings in the tech sector were weighed down the market, but some stocks closed higher -- just barely.
We'll start with PC maker
, which fell after
cut its 2001 and 2002 earnings-per-share estimates for the company to reflect lower sales and margins. The stock ended the day up 0.7% to $19.13.
The Internet sector was rocked by news from
New Era of Networks
, which warned after the close Friday that it would have a larger-than-expected loss for its fourth quarter. The Internet infrastructure software maker cited slowing spending in information technology. It closed down 43.8% to $3.09.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index, aka DOT, was off 1.5%.
, which closed off by 13.4% to $46.44, was hit with a price target cut from
and an estimate cut by
because of less spending in IT.
Also, shaking up Internet stocks was online auction house
, which fell after it said it would pay $120 million in cash to take a majority stake in the South Korean company
. But the stock ended the day up by 0.2% to $30.63.
was a shining star on the mostly unhappy Dow, rising 1.5% to $33.63 after posting better-than-expected earnings.
Still, it wasn't the best performer on the Dow.
took that title as worried investors moved into defensive stocks. Another defensive lately cleaning up was consumer products company
Procter & Gamble
. Together, the companies added more than 22 points to the Dow's positive column.
Investors flocked to the safe haven of consumer and tobacco stocks today. The
Morgan Stanley Consumer Index
rose 1.7%, while the
American Stock Exchange Tobacco Index
Oil and gas companies, along with utilities, may be unpopular with Californians, but not with investors. The
American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index
was up 1.9%, while the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
was 1.2% higher. The
Dow Jones Utility Average
After retreating this morning
Treasury notes and bonds were mixed this afternoon. Short-term issues were up, while the benchmark 10-year note shifted on both sides of the ledger, though long-term offerings continued down. The upturn earlier could have been related to positive remarks from the chairman of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank earlier today, who asserted that the economy was "fundamentally sound." In addition, equities were down moderately today, and bonds usually display contrary behavior vis--vis the stock market. Yields are still hovering in the region of their two-year lows.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note lately was down 6/32 to 106 1/32, making its yield 4.952%.
Analysts are divided about the
Federal Reserve's stance in lowering interest rates. Those who feel the central bank admitted an error when it cut interest rates last week expect a 50 basis-point cut at its
FOMC meeting Jan. 30 and 31. Others say the Fed only confirmed a commitment to stable capital and financial markets by the rate cut. They project a 25 basis-point correction in January and possibly another in March.
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