(Updated from 7:12 p.m. EST)
Resting from the roller-coaster ride that sent the mighty Dow under the 10,000 mark, after-hours investors gave the selling a break and rewarded some beleaguered tech stocks with upswings into the green. But the usual bevy of earnings warnings further deflated other stocks at the end of what might be called Wild Wednesday.
Dollar Tree Stores
was one of the biggest losers on
, tumbling 20.9% to $19.13. After the close, the discount store operator said that it was revising its first-quarter earnings estimate, citing a high number of store closings and low customer traffic in its stores. And what did it blame for the low traffic? The slowing economy, of course.
While almost every sector was on the cutting board today, telecommunications was one of the hardest hit, amid rumors that mobile phone giant
might miss first-quarter estimates. And the close did not stop the sector from receiving more bad news.
was one of the latest casualties in the sector. The Redwood City, Calif.,-based company's after-the-bell announcement, which spoke of lower-than-expected first-quarter operating revenue, sent its shares down 26.14% to $4.06 on
also sank about 16% to $9.88 on Instinet after the telecommunications equipment maker said its fourth-quarter results will fall short of estimates. The company cited the weak U.S. economy and a continued inventory overhang.
was another company that bore the brunt of its after-hours earnings preannouncement. The shares fell 17.27% to $20.37 on Island as the market received news that the high-speed communications equipment maker sees a first-quarter shortfall.
Echoing the pain felt by the advertising sector,
dropped 5.48% to $34.50 on Island after it said its 2001 cash flow would miss analysts' expectations due to softer poster sales in the first half of the year.
Aside from the punished profit-warners, many tech stocks made gains after hours.
Web portal software maker
surged 7.12% to $24.57 on Island. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company pleased the Street with fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations by 2 cents. The company also maintained that fourth-quarter earnings would be in line with analysts' expectations.
Indeed, the night-time players also seemed willing to forgive
despite its bad news earlier in the day. The shares gained about 1.88% to $14.90 on both after-hours trading platforms. During regular trading today, the company lurched to a new 52-week low of $12.75 after warning that it would miss first-quarter results amid a slowing economy.
Other highfliers in the tech and telecom sector were also climbing on Instinet, possibly because some intrepid bargain hunters went on the prowl.
recently rose 0.5% to $24.69, while
upped 0.5% to $54.25.
upped 1.02% to $18.63 in Island trading.
, which had something
fresh to say today regarding its cash flow, lately gained 1.5% to $16.69 on Instinet. The stock, one of the few to trade up during regular hours, finished at $16.44 on the Nasdaq. Earlier today, the company quashed rumors that it might issue an earnings warning, saying it was not going to miss estimates, but neither was it guiding up expectations.
was still getting a rush from a positive research note from
Credit Suisse First Boston
today. Shares of the pharmacy benefits manager climbed 0.8% to $75.25 on Instinet. Analyst Robert Willoughby, who set a $119 12-month price target on Express, said in a note today that the company's stock price reflects opportunities in the industry.
One tech stock that wasn't granted reprieve was fiber-optics heavyweight
, which was among the popular stocks in trading on the after-hours platforms. The shares, which have been tangled in the tech tumble, recently slipped 0.59% to $53.06 on Island.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, the S&P 500 futures on
were lately off 5.3, which leaves them 2.31 below fair value.
futures were down 1.0, putting them 7.6 points above fair value, indicating expectations of a fair bounceback tomorrow morning.
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 offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 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.