Market Update: Maybe a Little Lunch Will Help the Market - TheStreet

Don't expect

tin and aluminum (yup, the designated gifts to mark a decade together) for this 10th anniversary of the bull market.

The markets were definitely not in the mood to celebrate. In fact, the

Nasdaq Composite Index was lately just above this year's closing low of 3164.55 that it hit back on May 23.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly managed to cross over the break-even line, but succumbed to the downward pull that's driving the market today and was lately showing no signs of coming off its lows.

For days, investors and traders were holding out hope for positive earnings news from

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

Motorola

(MOT)

. And even though the companies delivered, Yahoo! indicated that its

sales were slowing and Motorola lowered its

earnings expectations through 2001, which spooked investors. What helped tip the scales was

Lucent's

(LU)

third earnings warning this year. TheStreet.com wrote about

Lucent's bad news in an earlier story. Yahoo! was lately tumbling 17%. Motorola was 15% lower. And Lucent was losing almost one third of its value.

Big-cap tech stocks fell in sympathy.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was lately down 3.3% and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was 3.9% lower. And it's not as if these stocks have been riding high lately.

The Dow couldn't shrug off weakness in tech stocks since

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

were taking off more than 75 points.

Financials were also getting hurt, including Dow component

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

subtracting 34 points from the index on continued worries that poor underwriting in the third quarter will hurt earnings in the sector.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

(MWD)

, rumored to have seen losses in the

junk-bond trading unit last week, continued to get hit, off 4.9% to $70.88. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

was off 3.5%.

Bear Stearns

(BSC)

and

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

were also weaker.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was managing to stay on the positive side and was lately up 1.4%.

ExxonMobil

(XOM) - Get Report

was the Dow's biggest booster, adding more than 10 points to the index of 30 major business players.

Utilities and energy stocks continued to rally, with

Enron

(ENE)

and

Public Service Enterprise

(PEG) - Get Report

adding the most to the

Dow Jones Utility Average

.

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Sector Watch

Money was going into drugs and paper ¿ hmmm. Energy stocks also were getting some lift, but retailers were tanking.

The

American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

rose 0.4%%, with

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

leading the way.

The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index

hopped 1.6%.

Energy stocks continued their recent rally on the back of soaring oil prices. Oil has now retraced nearly half of the 18% decline it had from Sept. 21 to Sept. 28. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was up 1%, the

American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index

was 1.7% higher and the

Chicago Board Options Exchange Oil Index

was up 1%.

Retail stocks weren't having any fun after

Nordstrom

(JWN) - Get Report

warned this morning that its earnings would not make estimates due to softer-than-expected sales and bigger-than-planned markdowns. Investors were concerned that a slowdown in consumer demand and (warning -- here comes another "blame the weather" excuse) a mild summer would have hurt retail sales. But retail stocks have been in the dumps pretty much all year. The

S&P Retail Index

was off 1.4%.

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Bonds/Economy

The Treasury market is mixed this morning on little news.

Intermediate-maturity issues are benefiting from declining stock prices. But the 30-year bond is lower in reaction to the latest rise in oil prices because of the potential for higher energy prices to push the overall inflation rate higher.

The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note lately was up 5/32 at 99 26/32, dropping its yield to 5.774%.

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