TheStreet.com's MIDDAY UPDATE
March 2, 2000
Market Data as of 3/2/00, 1:30 PM ET:
o Dow Jones Industrial Average: 10,148.79 up 10.86, 0.11%
o Nasdaq Composite Index: 4,735.77 down 48.31, -1.01%
o S&P 500: 1,375.03 down 4.16, -0.30%
o TSC Internet: 1,164.73 down 34.80, -2.90%
o Russell 2000: 581.49 down 6.86, -1.17%
o 30-Year Treasury: 101 14/32 up 6/32, yield 6.158%
In Today's Bulletin:
o Midday Musings: Strong Palm Can't Hold Nasdaq Up
o Herb on TheStreet: Going for the Mo: Where Will Investors Go Next?
Also on TheStreet.com:
Wrong! Tactics and Strategies: Buying on a Breather
The trader is picking away at his tech favorites on weakness ahead of the jobs report.
Options Buzz: Oil Plays Are Gushing, but Buyers Are Wary
Qwest takeover chatter keeps pushing options traffic.
Under the Hood: Revisiting Fund Basics: Time to Jettison Some Conventional Wisdom
Read your prospectus? Avoid rookie managers? That was then. This is now.
Bob Gabele: Legato's Recent Insider Option Buys Aren't Just for Show
But, there's still danger in assigning undue significance to insider buys that are required or subsidized.
Midday Musings: Strong Palm Can't Hold Nasdaq Up
3/2/00 1:44 PM ETMaybe it'll be the next Bond movie:
The Palm Is Not Enough
Despite the continued strong performance of the
IPO, the market has hit a rough patch this afternoon. Tech was seeing the most serious bloodletting, with Palm parent
taking a particular drubbing.
Palm lately was up 68, or 178%, to 106, giving it a market capitalization of $59.5 billion. The handheld computer maker's 23 million-share IPO was priced late yesterday at $38 a share, above the expected range of $30 to $32.
Brian Gilmartin, portfolio manager for
Trinity Asset Management
, noted that Palm's move owed a lot to the very limited float. The company has a total of 562.2 million shares outstanding, and 3Com holds 96% of them. "The smaller the float," he said, "the tighter the squeeze on the price."
3Com was off 16 1/8, or 15.4%, to 88 -- giving it a market cap of just $30.1 billion -- as investors leapt out of the shares after Palm started trading. 3Com plans to spin the rest of Palm off to shareholders within the next two quarters. A 3Com spokeswoman said the exchange ratio and exact record date haven't been determined yet, but shareholders who bought earlier today would be eligible.
The hype surrounding the much-anticipated IPO kept all eyes on the
Nasdaq Composite Index
, which continued to be lifted higher by small- and mid-cap communications and biotech stocks. "If you can combine wireless data, mobility and Internet connectivity, you have yourself a nosebleed valuation."
Lately, the Nasdaq was down 42, or 0.9%, to 4742, after pushing past the 4700 mark yesterday on record volume of 2.2 billion shares.
In Nasdaq trading,
shares were flying after it said it inked an e-commerce deal with
and positive comments from
Credit Suisse First Boston
Sharing in the Nasdaq's decline,
TheStreet.com Internet Index
was falling 35, or 2.9%, to 1165, with
The usually hot
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
was looking cool, off 2.1%.
Despite today's losses, savvy investors can't dispute the strong performance in the stocks that have worked and feel compelled to get on board. "I feel as if I have to," said Gilmartin, whose portfolio is heavily weighted in large-cap, traditional tech names. "If you're a large-cap growth investor, you need a momentum component in your portfolio. We've seen a shift from large-cap tech to
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was in positive territory, up 11 to 10,149, with
and Microsoft contributing gains to the index that is signature if the old economy.
New home sales
might be giving investors a ray of hope that the
might be less aggressive in raising rates," said Peter Cardillo, chief strategist at
. "But that all could change tomorrow if the labor cost and unemployment data show any signs of inflation. That could bring an end to the rally in the Dow and we could test last Friday's lows."
Telecom was booming on the
New York Stock Exchange
all on the upside.
Crude oil's $30-plus price tag has started a buzz of inflation concerns on Wall Street. According to Cardillo, oil's high prices pose a threat to not only the economy, but also to oil producers. "Oil prices are going to be heading down," he said. "
has already made a statement that it would raise output, the question is by how much. High prices for oil are a negative for both the global economies and producing nations. Any other substantial rise in oil prices would mean higher inflation, high interest rates, a global economic slowdown and oil prices would collapse."
was down 3 to 1376, while the small-cap
was down 7, or 1.1%, to 582, after setting a record yesterday.
Breadth was negative on fairly heavy volume.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,150 advancers, 1,707 decliners, 785 million shares. 92 new 52-week highs, 125 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
1,867 advancers, 2,219 decliners, 1.4 billion shares. 370 new highs, 73 new lows.
For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, published separately.
Herb on TheStreet: Going for the Mo: Where Will Investors Go Next?
3/2/00 6:30 AM ET
Yep, it's the new me. Mr. Mo. Looking for the next h-h-hot sector. Yeeeaah, baby! We're rockin', now. No more gloom and doom, only stocks with room to BOOM!
OK, a little overboard -- I know! But now that I have your attention, let's call in this column's hot hand, Scott Turkel of
in Connecticut, whose prior picks here (
TSI International Software
) have been nothing short of phenomenal. Caught up with him at the
technology conference, where he has been wowed by database companies.
His purchases include
. "Every presentation I've seen out here so far this week," he says, "involves technologies that require new architecture-designed databases that store new media, rich content, streaming media, video, sound -- all of the applications that turn the Web from digital back to analog."
. It has already been a big winner for Turkel, but he's not budging because he believes its patented method of delivering information to cell phones and other wireless devices will result in royalty revenue that hasn't yet been valued.
As for the cheapest Internet play: Turkel thinks it's
, which he bought yesterday. It took a hit because last quarter its sales-growth rate sagged, but he believes its multitiered strategy of getting revenue from software, advertising and commerce creates an opportunity.
(But this warning: Turkel has been good at spotting early risers, whose stocks have followed improving fundamentals. No guarantee he'll be right on these. I point this out because unlike
his positions, it's impossible to follow up on every stock mentioned here. And, don't worry, this item has nothing to do with me throwing in the towel. I'm not!
Yesterday's column, which said I was, was a joke. So was that sarcastic intro to today's column. Turkel, however, has been good to this column's readers, and this seemed like an appropriate time to check back with him.)
Down the lazy river:
biz model isn't broken? Even CEO Jeff Bezos must agree, these days, based on his comments at a conference earlier this week when he said that he now viewed Amazon as an e-business incubator.
What happened to e-tailer? Well, would you want to call yourself an e-tailer these days?
Oh, and didya see what has happened to Amazon's stock since it recently raised $681 million in convertible securities. Off 14%. Slow bleed, anyone?
Happy anniversary to me!
Today marks my second anniversary at
. Couldn't be happier. Thanks for tuning in.
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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