TheStreet.com's MIDDAY UPDATE
March 1, 2000
Market Data as of 3/1/00, 12:59 PM ET:
o Dow Jones Industrial Average: 10,153.75 up 25.44, 0.25%
o Nasdaq Composite Index: 4,791.33 up 94.64, 2.02%
o S&P 500: 1,379.09 up 12.67, 0.93%
o TSC Internet: 1,199.89 up 17.03, 1.44%
o Russell 2000: 588.45 up 10.74, 1.86%
o 30-Year Treasury: 101 04/32 down 12/32, yield 6.155%
In Today's Bulletin:
o Midday Musings: Do We Hear 5000? Nasdaq Powering Upside Day Again
o Herb on TheStreet: Why Herb Is Talking Like a Born-Again Bull
Last chance to rate your broker in TSC's Online Broker Survey 2000! Polls close today! Please complete your survey now and, by doing so, get a chance to win a TSC T-shirt. Find the survey
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Midday Musings: Do We Hear 5000? Nasdaq Powering Upside Day Again
3/1/00 1:08 PM ET
Aerosmith would sing, it's the
Same Old Song and Dance
. At midday, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
was dining on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average's
lunch as the tech sector hogged all the attention once again.
The tech-laden Comp was up 94, or 2%, to 4791, after marking another notch on its record belt yesterday. Meanwhile, the blue-chip Dow was struggling for some follow-through on yesterday's 89-point hop. It bounced in a narrow range this morning, mostly on the downside, and was lately up 29 to 10,157. "The market leaders continue to be the same. Money continues to flow into tech," said Jim Volk, co-director of institutional trading at
in Portland, Ore.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was also in the green, up 17, or 1.4%, to 1200, despite pressure from
was still riding high, up 7, or 7.2%, to 105 on enthusiasm for its
spinoff tomorrow. The price range was doubled yesterday to $30 to $32 a share, reflecting the sizeable demand for the offering.
A flurry of activity in the telecommunication sector had the stocks buzzing. First it was news that
have been chatting about merging their U.S. cellular-phone business to create a nearly national wireless provider. For more on the
chatter, check out coverage from
said it plans to
spin off its
structured cabling and LAN-based data businesses to shareholders, forming a separate company focusing on the enterprise networking market. Lucent said the new company will start out with an $8 billion business and a customer list that includes more than 90% of the
500 companies. The
Nasdaq Telecommunications Index
was up 2.2%.
Investors barely blinked at numbers from the
National Association of Purchasing Management
which showed that U.S. manufacturing activity grew for the 13th straight month in February. NAPM's
Purchasing Managers' Index
, a gauge of overall strength in the manufacturing sector, rose to a reading of 56.9 compared to 56.3 in January and 56.8 in December. Economists polled by
had forecast a slightly smaller gain, to 56.6, on average.
Despite the shakiness in the Dow today, Volk said he thinks "cyclicals are overdone on the downside and will continue to advance and broaden out". With earnings out of the way, interest rates will be the next story in the market he said.
was up 11, or 1.9%, to 588 1/2, on pace for another record close, while the
was up 13, or 1%, to 1380.
The 10-year Treasury was down 1/32 to 100 20/32, its yield at 6.41%, while the 30-year Treasury was down 15/32 to 101 5/32 and yielding 6.16%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's
Breadth was positive on the Nasdaq on heavy volume. On the Big Board, breadth was narrowly negative on moderately heavy volume.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,417 advancers, 1,410 decliners, 712 million shares. 103 new 52-week highs, 100 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
2,337 advancers, 1,739 decliners, 1.3 billion shares. 427 new highs, 53 new lows.
For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, published separately.
Herb on TheStreet: Why Herb Is Talking Like a Born-Again Bull
3/1/00 6:30 AM ET
I'm throwing in the towel. I've had it. It's not worth fighting this battle anymore. For the past dozen years, I've made a living, in large part, by pointing out what can go wrong at companies. It's a dirty job, I always figured, but somebody had to do it. I even thought it was noble: While not helping people make money (whaddaya want, I'm a died-in-the-wool-cynical-journalist), I was helping them avoid losing money, especially in this miraculous market where risk is considered a four-letter word. That even became part of an advertising theme at
Sure, there have been wild swings in recent years, like those back in the
days. But the truth always prevailed.
But this time, I tell ya, it
different. It's different because of
, which has become the clearinghouse for the dissemination of timely information. It's different because of the Internet, which not only has helped investors access a wealth of information, but helps them communicate with one another -- creating the ultimate in herd-like mentality. And it's different because of a growing number of momentum-driven hedge funds that care only about stock prices, not companies. They play splits. They play short positions. They play yet another press release filled with vapor.
The power of all of those things, combined, is so enormous as to appear downright unstoppable.
really deserve to rise 24% yesterday because of higher chip prices? Should
really have popped 7.5% just because it announced a 3-for-1 stock split? Did
really deserve to gain 7% just because I mocked its promotional ways in my column
yesterday? Of course not, but that's the nature of this market. It's the nature of this game. It's the nature of this new era of Wall Street.
Let's face it, this is a market that rewards the instincts of traders, not the brains of investors. This is a market that likes stories, not substance. This is a market that cheers
. How many more times must I open yet another email like this one from some guy named Clint, who wrote: "How much do the shorts of SFP
Salton pay you to write the kind of one-sided reports that you write?"
Life's just too short. That's why, despite the tremendous encouragement I receive from my readers, I'm calling it quits.
It's much easier to write the positive stories and pass along the positive messages, which is why starting today I will start pumping them so you can dump them! We're all in this togeth ... wait, I just got this email from my editor responding to my idea for this column. "Today is March 1," she wrote, "not April 1."
Oops! Just call me the king of bad timing. Never mind.
Exit ... Stage Left
Back to reality:
no stranger to this column, has long been on the radar of short-sellers, who have questioned the company's ability to continue to grow as fast as Wall Street has been expecting. It was a risk-filled strategy that involved paying top dollar for rock promoters, sports-management companies and other entertainment-related venues. Despite the questions and the stock's wallowing, however, my
year-end report card included an incomplete "to those masochistic enough to question SFX Entertainment and its brainy CEO, Robert F.X. Sillerman."
The question, to which the shorts didn't even know the answer, was what Sillerman's exit plan would be.
Now we know: He's selling his company to
Clear Channel Communications
, which itself is a roll-up of radio stations, and he's riding into the sunset. Now the question, which arbs are likely to toss around in coming days: Is Clear Channel overpaying for a company that was known for overpaying? As this column is fond of saying: Won't know until after the fact.
Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.
Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.
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