TheStreet.com's MIDDAY UPDATE
March 29, 2000
Market Data as of 3/29/00, 2:09 PM ET:
o Dow Jones Industrial Average: 10,921.92 down 14.19, -0.13%
o Nasdaq Composite Index: 4,651.75 down 182.14, -3.77%
o S&P 500: 1,499.35 down 8.38, -0.56%
o TSC Internet: 1,142.99 down 74.10, -6.09%
o Russell 2000: 541.86 down 17.18, -3.07%
o 30-Year Treasury: 103 28/32 up 3/32, yield 5.975%
In Today's Bulletin:
o Midday Musings: Dow Hangs in Near Break-Even; Nasdaq, DOT Most Certainly Do Not
o Wrong! Rear Echelon Revelations: Putting Money to Work Again
"TheStreet.com" on the Fox News Channel:
Don't miss "TheStreet.com" as guest Thomas Madden, executive vice president and chief investment officer at Federated Investors, joins our panel of writers for this week's show. "TheStreet.com" is on Fox News Channel Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET and Sundays at 10 a.m. ET.
Also on TheStreet.com:
Midday Movers: Midday Movers: Excite@Home, Dole Food, Telocity and Hershey Foods
Options Buzz: Tech Players Get Negative, Run for the Index Puts
Big trades hit the Morgan Stanley tech index.
European Markets Update: European Closing Update: A Bad Start Leads to a Bad Day
Europe's technology stocks were a picture of contrasting fortunes.
Midday Musings: Dow Hangs in Near Break-Even; Nasdaq, DOT Most Certainly Do Not
3/29/00 1:16 PM ETThe
Byrds were on to something when they sang that everything had a season. Today the market's turns and twists were resulting in a rise for some oft-beaten sectors while technology stocks endured more rough treatment. (OK, so the thought was originally from
Ecclesiastes, but the Byrds sang it well.)
Nasdaq Composite Index
it was time to turn down, once again. The tech-laden index handed back another huge chunk of change today as the selling pressure continued after yesterday's 124-point dive, and was lately off 174, or 3.6%, to 4660.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was doing even worse, getting crushed to the tune of 70, or 5.8%, to 1147.
was a downside leader, off 5.9%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, meanwhile, was having trouble finding its way, lately swinging around break-even after surrendering most of its earlier gain.
"The Nasdaq Comp is undergoing a period of weakness across the board, from small-cap to large-cap stocks," said Gary Kaltbaum, chief technical analyst at
, a subsidiary of
in Orlando, Fla. "This is the most overdue pullback, or correction or whatever you want to call it, in the history of the world." Meanwhile, he continued, "I think you're still going to see better action in everything that was not working for the past six months."
Indeed, the market's usual whipping boys, including the retail and health-care sectors, were getting a lift. The
S&P Retail Index
was lately up 3%, while the
S&P Health Care Index
was up 1.7%. Dow component
was enjoying a 3.9% gain.
Kaltbaum mentioned other retailers, including
, as good rebound candidates. "The fundamentals were always good," he said. "They just went too far, too fast, and needed a rest."
Transports and oil stocks were still showing some fire a day after nine out of 10
ministers agreed to increase quotas by 1.452 million barrels a day. Like the holdout dentist who won't recommend
Trident to his patients, Iran dissented and did not agree to the new accord. Iran's decision and tensions in OPEC over U.S. pressure for the increase hardly damped the enthusiastic response to the news. And today, Iran's state television said Tehran would continue to cooperate with OPEC despite the rift.
Crude oil futures fell on the New York Mercantile Exchange today, with the front-month contract lately at $26.21. Oil-related stocks were looking strong, with the
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
up 4% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
was moving up 1 3/8 to 80 3/8.
Dow Jones Transportation Average
had been cruising earlier but lately was off 0.2%. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
was losing some ground as well, down 1% after yesterday's highflying 5.4% jump.
Biotechs were getting slammed, with the
American Stock Exchange Biotech Index
down 5.4% and the
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
off 4.7%. The wild and woolly indices are now more than 30% off the heady highs they reached in early March.
Tobacco stocks were lower after the latest legal slam came from Kentucky, where a jury ordered chewing tobacco maker
to pay $350 million in damages to its rival
in a federal antitrust suit. The judgement comes close on the heels of news on Monday that a California jury awarded a dying smoker $20 million in damages from
. UST was lately getting pinched 2 5/8, or 13.2%, to 16 13/16.
was down 7, or 0.4%, to 1501, while the small-cap
was down 16, or 2.9%, to 543.
In the bond market, the 10-year Treasury was unchanged at 102 17/32, its yield at 6.15%, while the 30-year Treasury was up 2/32 to 103 28/32, its yield at 5.97%.
Breadth was barely positive on the Big Board but negative on the Nasdaq on moderate volume.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,410 advancers, 1,407 decliners, 590 million shares. 35 new 52-week highs, 43 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
1,149 advancers, 2,930 decliners, 1 billion shares. 44 new highs, 96 new lows.
For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, published separately.
Wrong! Rear Echelon Revelations: Putting Money to Work Again
James J. Cramer
3/29/00 1:56 PM ET
Oh, that tabled money. Just itching, just itching to get in. We covered most of our shorts here. And we bought some of the big-cap old-line tech just now.
We also bought some food and drug stocks -- you know, the fridge and medicine-chest stuff. They seem right at this moment. They don't want to go down any more. They aren't issuing shares. They aren't difficult to get in and out of. They aren't buying other companies for billions of dollars.
This is the first real dollar amount we have put to work since the
taking it off the table. But we aren't making a big commitment because "everybody seems to be long," meaning that people owned and bought stock for the end of the quarter and they don't seem to have much appetite for more. They all seem to be long the tough technology names that are causing all of the havoc.
We want liquidity. We don't want to have to beg a broker to take us out of positions if we are wrong. But, of course, we don't think we will be.
We will, however, probably be too early in this round of buys, as we have to face a long afternoon filled with bearish rumors of hedge fund firms closing doors.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at
Copyright 2000, TheStreet.com