The selling in tech shows no signs of abating in today's session, with the preopen indications signaling further weakness off last night's
lately were up 2.55 to 3315.05, but that remains way below yesterday's close. The
futures were up 9.8 to 1413.8, but that's short of fair value and also indicates opening weakness.
, Lucent lately was trading at 55. That's up from yesterday's late composite close of 52, but the stock finished the New York session at 69 1/16 before the company warned. Elsewhere, among Lucent's competitors,
was down 2 3/4 to 97 1/4,
was up 1 1/2 to 58 and
was up 6 to 159.
Last Night's After-Hours Trading
Lucent was the big story in after-hours trading this evening. The stock was halted at 4:04 p.m. EST after the company announced first-quarter results would miss Wall Street estimates. The reason given? In a press release, Lucent said that its flat revenue was due to changes in customer buying patterns, which resulted in lower software revenues and poor gross-margins.
The Lucent warning is more than notable, it's downright surprising. Since 1996, when the company spun off from
, Lucent has not missed a single Wall Street estimate, exceeding expectations in every quarter.
Last quarter may have been great, but this quarter is different. After today's bell, the company announced that its first-quarter earnings would be 36 cents to 39 cents a share, much worse than the
First Call/Thomson Financial
estimate of 54 cents. It's even lower than last year's quarter, which came in at 48 cents.
Lucent: TSC Message Boards
When the halt lifted at 4:51 p.m. EST, Lucent was at the mercy of after-hours markets and composite trading.
At 4 p.m. EST, Lucent closed at 69 1/16 in New York. This is an important number to remember, since exchanges in westerly time zones can still affect the close, creating what is known as a composite close. The most recent composite number had Lucent at 52, off 17 1/16 from the NY close.
On Instinet ECN, it has fallen 9 1/16 from the NY close to 60 at 4:52 p.m. EST. By 5:38 p.m. EST, the bleeding was even worse, with Lucent down 16 1/16 to 53. And so on and so on. At 5:54 p.m. EST Lucent traded at 52. By 6 p.m., it was at 50 1/2, trading on volume in excess of 6 million shares.
After 6 p.m., Lucent has firmed up a bit and by 6:12 p.m. traded at 51 5/8, followed by a mark of 51 7/16 ten minutes later. It then entered a trading range between 51 1/2 and 52, hitting 51 3/4 at 6:37 p.m., then returning to 51 5/8 at 6:45 p.m. and 52 at 7 p.m. Over the next 30 minutes, Lucent stayed in this 51 1/2 to 52 range, hitting 52 at 7:30 p.m.
Here's what Lucent did on Instinet after coming out of the halt. All times are EST.
has a myriad of coverage on Lucent's warning, from the
straight facts to the Cramer
perspective. These stories have been collected in a section called
Lucent Warning: The Fallout
Lucent, an NYSE issue, does not trade on the Nasdaq-only
Following Lucent's lead, tech stocks looked like "blech" stocks in after-hours trading. No one was safe from the storm. It didn't matter what happened during the day session.
, off 1 11/16 during the day, dropped 4 15/16 to 95 1/8 on Island.
, up 5 3/16 by bell's end, dropped 1 3/16 to 19 13/16 at night.
Others did the same.
dropped 8 to 132, while
plummeted 14 1/8 to 354 on Island. The
, which received a nice pop
last night and had a day session gain of 13 11/16, lost 2 13/16 to 21 1/2 this evening.
was off 1 49/64 to 108, while
, off 2 1/2 to 63, and
, off 1 3/16 to 46 3/4, continued their losing ways.
fell 5 5/8 to 90 1/2 and
dropped 10 to 240.
was the most-actively traded issue on Island, with a gain of 3 5/16 to 7 15/16. Shortly before 3 p.m., the company announced that its Portraits Online service, which gives commercial photographers access to their prints via the Internet, signed a contract with Garden State Color. The move adds 800 new portrait studios to Allin's Portraits Online customer base.
At the No. 2 spot,
also jumped after issuing a late day press release entitled "Harvey Electronics Reports Net Sales Increase of 54% And Comparable Store Sales Increase of 39% For the Two Months Ended January 1, 2000." That pretty much explains why the Lyndhurst, New Jersey audio-visual dealer rose 9/16 to 2 7/16 on 1.1 million shares.
Never heard of
? Unless you're from the St. Louis area, it's highly unlikely. The company operates two country-western nightclubs in the Gateway to the West, a couple of restaurants sprinkled in the Oklahoma City-Tulsa-St. Louis area.
Somebody out there likes Burrito. It's trading on unusually heavy volume on Island with a gain of 9/16 to 2 7/16 on 470,000 shares. During the day session, it gained 7/32 to 1 1/8 on 280,000, huge volume for a penny stock that can barely get its volume into four-figures, let alone six.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.