So, let's get this straight, the Fed raises both the fed funds and the discount rate by 25 basis points and the Nasdaq and Dow still stage a late rally and end sharply higher.
Well, that's not quite the way things were spelled out on the first day of "covering the stock market" school, but this market's rules were broken long ago. It's generally believed that the Fed raising rates is bad for stocks.
But now that the Fed has done what everyone knew they were going to do, it looks like the market will be able to focus on earnings.
Most everything finished higher yesterday and, instead of telling you, we'll just show you. Look at this table.
This morning, though, things weren't looking too hot for the market. In early action the
June futures contract was quoted down 3.00 to 1504.50. With fair value measured at 4.97, stocks look to open weaker. The thinly traded
June contract was quoted down 13 to 4505.
Tech stocks could suffer some weakness today following the lower-than-expected earnings from
released last night. Micron reported second-quarter earnings of 58 cents, including a loss of $7 million, far short of the 22-analyst estimate of 74 cents, but up from the year-ago 8 cents which also includes a charge.
Gross margins of the company's semiconductor operations fell to 41% from 58% in the previous quarter. The stock was hard hit in after-hours trading, falling 11 1/4, or 8.6%, to 119 1/4 on 147,000 shares on
. This morning
was reporting that the stock had been offered at 124, still about 6 points below yesterday's close.
Clearly, the analyst community was expecting better news from the company, as Micron had been upgraded by
on Monday and initiated as a buy at
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
Lucent in January? We'll bet that analyst does.
Micron's disappointment may spread into other tech names this morning as
were all lower before the bell.
Hey, if you have diabetes or know anyone that does, you need to read this.
announced last night it is withdrawing its controversial diabetes drug Rezulin from the U.S. market. The
Food and Drug Administration
said that the company had agreed to an FDA request to pull the drug, which had been linked to fatal liver failure. And liver failure ain't no joke.
Last Night's After-Hours Trading
Hey Micron-Micron-Micron. Suh-
Micron! No batter-no batter-no batter.
whiffed on analyst estimates and struck out in after-hours trading.
Tonight, the company reported second-quarter earnings of 58 cents a share, including a loss of $7 million; the 22-analyst estimate called for operating earnings of 74 cents. Still, that's up from the year-ago 8 cents, which also included a charge. As a result, the company fell 11 1/4 to 119 1/4 on 147,000 shares on
Why the lousy at-bat? Killer curve? Can't hit the high heat?
Nope. Micron said that average selling prices for its semiconductor memory products fell 20% from the first quarter. Gross margins of the company's semiconductor operations fell to 41% from 58% in just three short months.
In the last hour of trading, biotechnology stocks came on stronger than a lonely fraternity brother during the waning moments of a rush-week mixer. A check of the
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index's
final hour performance confirms this. The Nasdaq biotechs rose 40 points, or 4%, to finish in the green with a decent gain.
Unfortunately for those investors with
Protein Design Labs
held tight, things weren't quite as rosy. PDLI fell 28.2% during the day session. Still, that could've been worse. PDLI was off more than 50% at one point.
Tonight, PDLI has rebounded. Granted, it's no 30% move, but a gain of 8 7/16 to 103 15/16 on 80,000 shares on
isn't anything to scoff at. It traded at 104 on Instinet.
The once-lost Net sector was found during the final hour of trading. As a result, the
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index gained more than 20 points in a 60-minute span, finishing up strong. And
was one of the strongest, gaining 11.5%.
Tonight, Yahoo! cooled a bit. The stock fell 7/8 to 190 7/8 on 116,000 shares on Instinet and gained 1/4 to 192 on 32,000 shares in the waning moments of the Island session.
received a pop in the postclose session after
announced that the company would be featured on "The Edge." The show aired at 6 p.m. EST this evening and touted Xybernaut's role in the "wearable computing industry."
Because computers that people can wear have become a viable industry. (
Insert sarcasm here.
Sniping aside, the company has been on a tear so far in 2000 and has gotten a lot of press. It's up 420% since Jan. 1 and gained 4 1/8, or 24%, to 21 5/16 during the day session. Readers of this column are no strangers to Xybernaut. It's a very popular late-night play, and tonight was no different. It was last up 1 1/2 to 23 on 222,000 shares on Island and up 3/4 to 22 1/16 on 83,000 shares on Instinet.
Like a stiff four-iron shot with a nice lie, gusty tailwind and an acre of fairway showing,
carried farther than expected today. The maker of Tommy Armour and RAM brand clubs sailed up 1/4, or 16%, to 1 13/16 on 369,800 shares during the day. That's a ton of people in the gallery for a company that rarely draws more than six figures of interest during a day session.
Aside from the volume, the move isn't a very significant one. Last night, TearDrop announced the results of its fourth quarter and fiscal 1999. This quarter's losses came in at 48 cents a share, better than last year's $1.72 loss. 1999's net loss was 86 cents a share vs. last year's $1.58 loss.
Small-caps tend to attract attention in spurts and make large moves percentage-wise, simply because of their low cost. At last check, the day-session interest held up on Island. TearDrop fell 1/16 to 1 3/4 on 180,000 shares.
Other tiny issues crowded the tees in after-hours trading.
who? Late-night staple
once again returned to the postclose session. But unlike that acerbic gap-toothed gabber, this microcap biotech play wasn't as triumphant, off 3/16 to 6 15/16 on 121,000 shares on Island. This company participated in the great biotech rally this afternoon and gained 1 1/16, or 17.5%, to 7 1/8 on a whopping 14.7 million day-session shares.
Investors tuned into the company today after it was killed on Monday, dropping 2 points, or close to 33%. Techniclone declined on news about its development plans for Oncolym, the cancer fighting drug that is the company's leading drug candidate.
Yesterday, Techniclone said it would begin a new single-dose study of the drug in hopes that a single dose treatment will be more competitive in the marketplace. Still, the last time Techniclone tried to study the drug, tests were halted. That was back in December, not long after the company's shares traded at half a buck in the wake of a $3.3 million loan default and the resignation of its interim chairman. That situation has since been resolved and the company participated in the early-2000 biotech rally.
It's a small world on Island.
, market cap $7.3 million, traded at the top spot on Island, gaining 1/16 to 1 3/16 on 481,000 shares. Its No. 2 was
, market cap $9.9 million, which slipped 3/32 to 1 3/16 on 234,000 shares.
This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.