The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to limp downward after yesterday's hot inflation data broke its legs, but the Nasdaq Composite Index was still bucking upward in relatively thin trade.
Investors began fleeing the so-called "inflation-sensitive" old-economy stocks yesterday as they sought cover in "high-growth" tech stocks. So far that trend has held.
Most market observers said the fact that the Nasdaq has been able to hold its head high amid the recent flutter of bad news is very impressive and bodes well, at least for the short term.
That bad news includes a report earlier today that George Soros' firm is losing
, which some thought might mean some heavy selling in tech.
Druckenmiller ran Soros' $8.2 billion
and Roditi ran the $1.2 billion
. The two managers had bet heavily on technology names starting in the latter half of 1999. The recent selloff in tech names hurt the fund badly -- it reportedly lost $3 billion in capitalization in the last six weeks.
For more on this
story, take a look at the coverage out of the
One stock, in particular, was really singing the blues today.
In the last hour, a federal judge in New York ruled that
violated copyright laws by creating a database of music available to be downloaded off the Web. The ruling has hammered the stock and it was recently down 4 5/8, or 40%, to 7.
"For a Friday, going into a weekend, and having digested a lot of bad news, it's very impressive that the market has been able to hang in this tough so far," said Ned Collins, executive vice president of U.S. stocks at
Daiwa Securities America
But no one wants to say that the market has moved entirely out of the woods yet as there may be more bad news to be weathered.
"Next week everyone will be keeping an eye on the April employment data. Market players are sitting boxed in by that data. We may see activity slow down in the afternoon after the harrowing week we've had. And we could see tech back-and-fill a little bit more," said Bryan Piskorowski, market analyst at
Financials and insurance stocks were still taking blows after falling hard on the inflation news yesterday. The
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
was down 1.4%, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange KBW/Bank Index
was down 2.2% and the
S&P Insurance Index
Leading financials down around mid-session were
, down 2.6, and
, down 0.9%.
Fellow Dow industrials components
was down 1.9% and
American International Group
was off 1.5%.
On the NYSE,
was off 8% and
off 14.6%, were posting the biggest losses.
The Nasdaq was getting extra bounce, meanwhile, from
Rambus' gain was also propelling the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was up 2.1%, after the chip giant reported Thursday it is accelerating its efforts to promote the growth of electronic commerce. Other chip makers, such as
were riding Intel's wave.
was down 1.4% ahead of the release of the government's proposal for splitting up the company after the market closes this afternoon.
Consumer retail stocks were also in trouble, as were drug stocks. And utility stocks were down after a strong run up in the last few weeks. The
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
was off 1.7%, and the
Dow Jones Utility Average
was off 1.3%.
The Street.com Internet Sector
index was up 35.48 to 892.45, once again, boosted by strength in
Breadth was narrowly mixed on the NYSE and positive on the Nasdaq, while volume was relatively light on both.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,424 advancers, 1,351 decliners, 553 million shares. 41 new 52-week highs, 30 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
2,200 advancers, 1,634 decliners, 882 million shares. 33 new highs, 60 new lows.