Ahhh, don't worry. This is just a little breather.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 11.55 to 6418.47 Thursday, though the measure rebounded from far steeper losses reached earlier in the session. Treasurys also lost ground, pushing interest rates higher.
"I have to say that seeing a negative number on the Dow these days makes me feel that my stock machine must be broken,'' says David Shulman, chief equity strategist at Salomon Brothers. "But, really, for post-election rallies, this one has matched previous efforts.''
In rough numbers, the S&P 500 gained 5% in a 1968 post-election rally; 7% in 1972; 10% in 1980 and about 6% in the current rally, Mr. Shulman said.
Thursday's pullback by major averages--the
Nasdaq Composite Index
lost 6.86 to 1258.08--reflected the feeling of nervous retreat on Wall Street as the week neared a close. The computer sector carried the market higher on Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday the cyclical stocks moved rapidly to the fore as computer and technology shares regrouped. On Thursday, an exhausted market failed to produce any group hale enough to lead another strike into record territory.
The moment's momentum stock,
(IBM:NYSE), gained 1 + to 154 1/8, turning its back on a pair of Wall Street darlings unable to keep pace.
(INTC:NYSE) lost 2 to 118 + and
(MSFT:Nasdaq) fell 3 to 150 +. Among other technology shares,
(CPQ:NYSE) slipped 1 to 79 3/8,
(CSCO:Nasdaq) dropped + to 65 7/8,
(CA:NYSE) rose 3 3/8 to 67 + and
(DELL:Nasdaq) gained 2 + to 97 7/8.
With technology shares floundering, some analysts recalled the gizmohead axiom: Buy tech leading up to Comdex, sell tech on the heels of Comdex. Comdex, the Las Vegas technowhiz conference ends Friday.
(BA:NYSE) gained 1 1/8 to 97 + as investors celebrated a 103-plane, $6.5-billion order from
(AMR:NYSE), parent of American Airlines. A Boeing executive crowed late in the day that the firm is embarking on a major up cycle. AMR dropped + to 90 +.
(OLS:NYSE), a temporary help concern skidded 5 3/8 to 14 + after warning that its business was not doing as well as expected. That news also slammed
(ASI:NYSE), which dropped 2 + to 21 +.
In the non-Intel chip world (kind of like Michael Jordan and the rest of us)
Integrated Device Technologies
surged 2 to 11 3/8 after Montgomery Securities raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold."
Kulicke & Soffa
(KLIC:Nasdaq), a chip equipment firm, also received a Montgomery boost, and jumped 3 + to 20 +.
But not all was well in chipland.
(AMAT:Nasdaq), a leading equipment maker fell 1 1/8 to 30 7/8 in after-hours trading after posting poor fourth-quarter results.
Volume topped more than 1 billion shares on Wall Street. More than 587 million shares traded on Nasdaq and about 472 million shares traded on the Big Board.
By Dave Kansas