Looks like investors have bet their bottom dollars on a market rebound.
revenue warning from
last night -- something Wall Street expected to really shake the market today -- both the
Dow Jones Industrial Average and the
Nasdaq Composite Index have rallied in afternoon trading.
Last night, Intel said its revenue for the upcoming quarter would fall short of expectations, primarily because of slowing PC demand. Intel now expects revenue to be flat for the quarter "plus or minus a couple of percentage points." The chipmaker had expected revenue to rise 4% to 8% from the third quarter. According to
First Call/Thomson Financial
, analysts had expected Intel to earn 42 cents a share. In the year-ago period, Intel recorded a profit of 35 cents per share.
In response to yesterday's pre-announcement, analysts lined up to fire away at Intel this morning:
all cut their recommendations on the stock. But that didn't stop Intel. At last look, the chipmaker was up $1.56, or 4.8%, to $33.88.
Has the market has hit bottom? Judging by this afternoon's trading activity, it sure looked that way.
Intel's warning was the latest in a string of high-profile pre-announcements, which have included the likes of PC-makers
Most likely, Intel's news was already priced into the market. Earlier this week,
Salomon Smith Barney
semiconductor analyst Jonathan Joseph reiterated comments from his Nov. 30 note, when he said that the chipmaker's fourth quarter was "shaping up to be the worst in over a decade." Joseph restated his reduced earnings estimate, in which he lowered his earnings forecast to 39 cents from 42 cents a share.
In recent trading,
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
-- up 12.1% -- had put the market to shame. Shares of specialty chipmaker
, which issued its own profit warning on Monday, jumped 12.5% to $48.25.
, which pre-announced last week, gained 8.3% to $29.38. And Intel's rival
advanced 10.5% to $44.19.
Fiber-optics companies posted strong gains. Shares of
gained 11.5% to $42.94;
increased 10.2% to $164; And
climbed 19.4% to $114.13.
Further lifting the market today was November's
employment report, released this morning. The jobs data showed that nonfarm payrolls -- a measure of net new jobs created -- slowed significantly in November, hitting a 94,000 rise vs. the forecast 140,000. While other components of
the report were mixed, the payrolls number suggests an economic slowdown.
On the Dow front, technology stocks
each added to the blue-chip index's gains.
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Slowing PC demand may be to blame for Intel's shortfall, but the computer sector got off easy today. Lately, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
had advanced 2.7%. Shares of
gained 4.7%, while
increased 2% and 0.8%, in that order.
When the market does well, so do brokers and dealers. The
American Stock Exchange Securities Broker/Dealer Index
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
got a boost today after
upgraded the stock to accumulate from neutral.
Sliding oil prices put transports back in the green. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
was 5.2% higher, while the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was hopping 3%.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index hasn't really been embraced in recent weeks, but today the sector bounced 9.2%.
Check Point Software
got the blue ribbon. Yesterday, the Israeli company received
magazine's Editor's Choice Award for the "integration, interoperability and breadth of security solutions, applications and hardware platforms it provides" through one of its platforms. It moved up 15.2%.
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Treasury note and bond prices fell after the November
) showed that last month's wages and salaries rose at the fastest pace in nearly two years. That threw cold water on expectations for a near-term interest-rate cut by the Fed to stimulate economic growth, which has been slowing.
However, after the Florida Appellate Court allowed fo a further recount of votes in the state, the Treasury market turned up and ended higher on the day.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was up 9/32 at 103 10/32, its yield at 5.317%.
The economy added fewer jobs than economists expected in November, a sign that growth continues to slow. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 94,000, compared to an average forecast among economists polled by
for a gain of 137,000.
The unemployment rate rose to 4% from 3.9%, further confirming that demand for workers is ebbing.
But the average hourly wage rose 0.4% to $13.94 from $13.88, lifting the earnings growth rate to 4%, the fastest since January 1999. A fast rate of earnings growth has the potential to cause inflation by creating more demand for goods and services than the economy can produce. As long as the Fed sees the risk of rising inflation, it will hesitate to lower interest rates, even though growth is slowing.
Chicago Board of Trade
, traders of
fed funds futures contracts downgraded the odds of a near-term interest rate cut by selling the contracts. The odds that the Fed will lower the
fed funds rate this month to 6.25% from the current 6.5% -- indicated by the price of the December fed funds futures contract -- fell to about 30% from 41%. The odds of a 25
basis-point rate cut by the end of January slipped to about 95% from 102%.
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