This was no manic Monday. Trading was quiet today as investors took stock of recent gains and tried to figure out what to do next. Major proxies squeaked into the green after bouncing around narrow trading ranges for most of the session.
After tacking on hefty gains in the prior two trading sessions, many investors were pleased to see the
Nasdaq Composite Index
Dow Jones Industrial Average
hang in there today.
The Comp ended the day up 8.38, or 0.2%, to 3821.76 after rocketing up 412 points over Thursday and Friday. The Dow Jones clung to its gain of 20.54, or0.2%, to end the session at 10,815.30 after pocketing 272 points at the end of last week.
"You've got to be impressed by the market's ability to hold Thursday and Friday's gains," said Todd Clark, head of listed trading at
adding that he had expected to see much more profit-taking. "We came so far and then people go have a weekend and start reassessing the long term. That has not occurred, that is pretty important. It looks like this market wants to work its way higher," he said.
Clark said it is worth keeping an eye on the ongoing
technology conference in Atlanta where corporate announcements could originate this week.
Today, it was the tech bellwethers that led the way higher.
rose 3.3%, while
was under pressure, losing 9.63, or 0.7%, to 1467.63, while the
edged up 0.26, or 0.1%, to 513.29. Despite the strength of a number of tech bellwethers today,
TheStreet.com Internet Sector Index
lost ground, down 15.16, or 1.6%, 930.26.
had a hot day, rising 8.5%, even after completing the spinoff of
. Agilent fell 5.7%.
Advanced Micro Devices
gained 1 3/8 to 91 1/2, though it ended well off its intraday high of 97. The company said it was introducing its new Athlon processor, adding that Hewlett-Packard,
are planning to introduce computer systems based on the processor.
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
slipped 0.4% while the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
bounced up 2.1%.
Volatile biotechs were back in the saddle again today, riding along on some good news.
jumped 17.8%, after it said it filed for marketing approval for an asthma treatment along with its development partners
. Novartis slipped 1/4 to 37 3/8 while Tanox tacked on 1 1/4 to 49 3/4.
Human Genome Sciences
rose 7.1%, after
lifted the stock to long-term buy from long-term accumulate. The
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
rose 2.8%. Though it remains more than 25% off its March highs, the volatile measure managed to tack on 18.4% in the last week's holiday-shortened trading, rallying with the broader market.
Transportation stocks were lower, including some downside from the airlines. The exceptions to the rule included
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
up 5.4% and
up 3.8%, after news reports said the two were exploring a possible merger. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
was down 0.8%, while the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
Stocks in the oil sector were also mixed. Oil service company
slipped 1/2 to 69 1/16, surrendering its earlier upside after
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
upgraded it to top pick.
slid 5.6%. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index
Crude oil prices dropped amid a flurry of comments about oil output which confused traders.
president Ali Rodriguez reiterated the cartel will raise output if the 20-day average price of a basket of seven crudes rose above $28. July crude last traded at $29.65 a barrel, sliding 70 cents on the day. The
American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index
edged down 0.3%.
Looking to the week ahead, some market watchers expressed doubt about how much upside is left in the market. There are a couple of news events that might impact the market later this week, said Ricky Harrington, chief technical analyst at
in Charlotte, North Carolina. Harrington noted Friday's
Producer Price Index as well as an interest rate decision from the U.K.
Though he thinks the market may move above last week's levels, he said upside is fairly limited.
"We are going to run into some trouble as the Dow approaches 11,000 and the Nasdaq moves to 4000. Those are two very key levels. Fundamentally the market is still overvalued and psychological factors," will also be an issue.
Breadth was positive on the Nasdaq and negative on the Big Board on moderate-to-heavy volume.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,329 advancers, 1,628 decliners, 835 million shares. 45 new 52-week highs, 25 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
2,235 advancers, 1,826 decliners, 1.425 billion shares. 67 new highs, 58 new lows.