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Thank goodness the trading day is over!

In addition to uncertainty about Tuesday's presidential election, investors had to contend with a reduced revenue forecast from PC giant


(DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc. Class C Report

, which sent shivers through the marketplace.

Warm and fuzzy feelings were few and far between today. Both the

Dow Jones Industrial Average and the

Nasdaq Composite Index -- which hit a fresh 52-week low today --closed with steep triple-digit losses.

For the fourth straight day, the Nasdaq -- down 12% for the week -- finished behind. The technology-laden index closed just above the 3000 level. The last time it dropped below that point was November 1999. The index is now nearly 40% off its March highs and down about 25% for the year.

The Dow, which also closed down for the fourth day in a row, is now down about 7.5% for the year.

Last night, Dell Computers stated earnings of 25 cents a share, in line with Wall Street's expectations. But the company warned that it saw its sales growing just 20% in the next fiscal year. That news followed a slew of disappointments from the PC-manufacturer. (

covered Dell's latest warning in separate


Predictably, Dell's announcement triggered research analysts to downgrade the company's stock.

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TheStreet Recommends

Morgan Stanley

lowered its rating on Dell to neutral from outperform, while

Credit Suisse First Boston

reduced its 12-month price target for the company.

The most active stock on the

Nasdaq Composite Index, Dell tanked 18.9%.

Dell's woes spread to other names within the computer industry. Shares of



fell 5.2%, while


(IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report

dropped 6.5%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was recently down 8.8%.

The semiconductor industry, the success of which depends on the demand for computers, felt Dell's pain today. At last look, the

Philadephia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

ended off 6.6%. Shares of Intel, which were downgraded to neutral from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

, plunged 10.6%. Fellow chipmaker


(KLAC) - Get KLA Corporation Report

decreased 7.9%, while

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Micron Technology Inc. Report

shed 7.5%.

Blue-chip stocks


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

, closed lower by 4.9%, and



, which closed down 8.9%, also fell in sympathy.

In fact, only six of the 30 blue chip stocks contributed to the Dow's upside at the close. Included in that small club were

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company (The) Report

, which closed up 3.1%,

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

, which closed up 0.9%, and


(MRK) - Get Merck & Company Inc. Report

, which finished higher by 1.2%.

On the heels of disappointing earnings news from


(GES) - Get Guess? Inc. Report

, retail stocks sank. The

S&P Retail Index

closed off 4.9%. Shares of


(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

decreased 7.3%, while

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Home Depot Inc. (The) Report

staggered 6.6%.

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Sector Watch

Defensive industries were about the only ones to see some upside today. The

American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

gained 0.4% and the

Amex Tobacco Index

rose 1.97%.

Financial stocks suffered in today's selloff. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

closed down 3.6%.

Lehman Brothers


was down sharply for the third day in a row, closing off by 5.4%, while

Bear Stearns


closed off 3.8%.

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Bonds were marginally firmer today, with recent economic data providing a supportive environment and concerns about the equities markets encouraging a move to safety. Nervous equity markets are likely to drive the bond market.

The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note was lately up 1/32 to 99 22/32, to yield 5.793%.

No market-moving economic data came out today.

The preliminary

Consumer Sentiment Index


definition |

chart ) for November came out at 10 a.m., revealing that consumer sentiment rose to 107.7 vs. expectations of 105.5.

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