(Updated from 11:03 a.m.)
Stocks were moving tentatively higher after yesterday's selloff erased the gains posted since the
Federal Reserve cut interest rates a little more than two weeks ago.
At about noon EDT, the
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 35 points, or 1.7%, to about 2120. The tech-heavy index fell 4.2% yesterday, closing down for the third day in a row. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher by 31 points, or 0.3%, to about 10,904 and still trading below the 11,000 benchmark. The broader-market
S&P 500 was higher by 6 points, or 0.5%, to 1254.
preannouncement put some nervousness back in the marketplace yesterday," said Robert Harrington, co-head of block trading at
. "But we're bouncing back today. Still, I expect the market to trade in a range for the near-term."
On Tuesday evening, Sun warned that its earnings for this quarter would fall way below analysts' expectations. The announcement kicked off the second-quarter
confession season, when companies let investors know if they expect to miss performance targets. Wall Street, as evident from yesterday's selloff, is likely worried that Sun's news is a sign of more warnings to come.
Still, Sun was among the technology stocks trading higher this morning. It was lately ahead 1.2% to $16.45 after falling 13% to $16.25 yesterday. Others on the up and up include networker
, which was climbing 2.7% to $19.52, and chipmaker
, which was rising 2.7% to $27.31.
was advancing 5.3% to $15.28, despite a downgrade this morning from
. The investment firm dropped its 2002 earnings per share outlook for the business software outfit.
was rising 3.2% to $31.94, after dropping 8.9% to $30.90 yesterday. On Tuesday, the storage software manufacturer announced it was cutting 1,000 jobs.
, up 1.1% to $118.58,
, ahead 1.6% to $38.57, and
, higher by 1.1% to $54.01, were helping to keep the Dow positive.
Among sectors, retail, cyclical and transportation stocks were gaining, while oil, banks, and drugs were losing. Bonds were jumping, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury up 17/32 to 96 23/32. Its yield, which moves inversely to price, fell to 5.436%.
Ahead of tomorrow's
employment report, by all accounts the most important market event this week, the government this morning reported that
initial jobless claims
for the week ended May 25 rose to 419,000 from a revised figure for the previous week of 411,000. Economists were expecting 405,000 new claims for the week. By contrast, the four-week average fell to 402,500 from a revised figure for the previous week of 404,000.
The unemployment rate has been moving higher since January. The jobless rate is expected to be 4.6% for May; the number is due out tomorrow. A key indicator of the overall health of the economy, the jobs report could influence the Fed's future plans for interest rates. The Fed has slashed its benchmark lending rate five times this year, dropping it 250 basis points to 4%, its lowest level since May 1994. The policy-making body next meets to determine the direction of interest rates on June 26 and 27.
Meanwhile, today marks both the end of the month and the end of the quarter, so a little dose of traditional end-of-the-quarter window-dressing, the tidying up of portfolios, could give some stocks a boost. Fund managers may buy winning stocks and sell losers to "dress up" the portfolio for presentation to clients or shareholders. Company bylaws often require fund managers to bring cash off the sidelines and put it back into the stock market.
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