Stocks Close Little Changed After a Brief Dip on the FOMC Announcement - TheStreet

Stocks Close Little Changed After a Brief Dip on the FOMC Announcement

The Fed didn't raise rates but did switch to a tightening bias.
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Why is the word "own" in the word down? Clearly, investors avoided stock ownership after the

Fed

announced a tightening bias around 2:15 p.m. EDT. The following hour-long selloff eliminated all of this morning's 60-point rally and more -- much more. Then 3 p.m. EDT rolled around and the market went for broke, as in "broke even."

The 30-year Treasury bond took the last train to Clarksville, but you can't meet it at the station. It rode the express after the Fed announcement, off 1 8/32 to 99 6/32, yielding 6.16.

The blue-chippers in the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

wore concrete sandals and went for a walk off the pier. The big sinkers:

Chevron

(CHV)

, down 1 7/16 to 84 9/16;

International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

, down 1 13/16 to 44 3/8; and

United Technologies

, off 2 1/4 to 55 1/2.

Techs were stronger than most.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was up 12.41, or 2%, to 668.02. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

, or SOX, was up 17.03, or 3%, to 548.70. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was up 7.34, or 2%, to 315.02. Look out for those rascally e-twins!

TheStreet.com E-Finance Index

was up 1 19/32, or 3%, to 61 15/32, while its kin,

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

, was up 2.79, or 3%, to 96.81.

Oil did not have an easy day. The sector went from crude to crud. The

American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index

was off 2.40, or 2%, to 140.26. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was off 11.34, or 2%, to 490.27. The

Chicago Board Options Exchange Oil Index

was off 6.76, or 2%, to 286.28. Rounding out the field was the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Sector Index

, off 4.04, or 5%, to 70.16.

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

may not be

Dr. Evil

, but the company did have its pinky firmly planted on its lower lip as it announced a buyout of

Sprint

(FON)

. The price tag: "$115 billion!" The stock swap, the largest corporate buyout ever, has MCI WorldCom paying $76 in stock per Sprint share, which become the new

WorldCom PCS

tracking stock. The big loser in the deal is

BellSouth

(BLS)

, which barged in with a hefty offer, only to be rebuffed.

WorldCom, the most-actively traded stock on the Nasdaq on 59 million shares, dropped 3 11/16, or 5%, to 67 15/16. Sprint, the fourth-most-actively traded stock on the Big Board on 12 million shares, dropped 2, or 3%, to 58 7/8.

In the next episode of

As the Internet Turns

,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

announced plans to acquire

IPivot

for $500 million. Intel was down 3/4, or 1%, to 76 3/16.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, decliners beat advancers 1,781 to 1,221 on 955 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, losers beat winners 2,098 to 1,817 on 1.192 billion shares.

On the NYSE, 144 issues set new 52-week lows while 54 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 118 issues set new 52-week lows while new highs totaled 92.

On the Big Board,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

was the most active, with 16 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 1/4 to 45.

Earlier...

3:04 p.m.: Stocks Turn Mostly Lower After FOMC Meeting Ends

The good news: The

Fed

didn't raise rates. The bad news: The Fed adopted a tightening bias.

1:59 p.m.: Tech Sector Leads Climb Higher

Federal Open Market Committee

. 2:15 p.m. EDT. Things are green on the way in to the announcement.

1:03 p.m.: Midday Musings: Wall Street Holds Onto Solid Gains as Fed Decision Nears

12:06 p.m.: Stocks Modestly Higher as Tech Sector Jumps

The index that has led the market's major proxies so far this year was leading the market higher, while on the downside, oil service stocks were getting crushed.

11:01 a.m.: Stocks Remain Modestly Higher Ahead of FOMC

Amid a news-juicy backdrop of the announcement of the biggest takeover in history and a

Federal Open Market Committee

meeting, stocks were trading modestly higher at midmorning.

10:01 a.m.: Stocks Open Slightly Higher Amid Sprint-MCI WorldCom Deal

Stocks opened slightly on the firm side amid the official word that

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

has agreed to take over

Sprint

(FON)

for $115 billion, the biggest deal in history. However,

Federal Communications Commission

Chairman William Kennard was out with comments on

Reuters

pointing out that competition has produced a price war in the long-distance world and that the deal "appears to be a surrender."