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Have a stomach ache from last night's festivities? The

Dow Jones Industrial Average's bag of tricks was empty and the tech heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index had few surprises left up its sleeve.

The latest round of negative news from companies and the subsequent comments from analysts was hard to swallow after yesterday's triple-digit gains for the Dow and the Nasdaq.

Last night, specialty chip maker


(ALTR) - Get Altair Engineering Inc. Class A Report

quietly posted a release on its Web site that said the company's revenue growth would be at the lower end of a forecasted 12% to 15% range, sparking a slew of actions from Wall Street analysts.

Analysts seem to move in packs, don't they?

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

cut the chipmaker to outperform from strong buy and lowered its price target to $65 from $92.50.

W.R. Hambrecht

downgraded Altera to neutral from strong buy.

Merrill Lynch

cut its 2000 EPS estimate to $1.02 from $1.03 and 2001 EPS estimate to $1.50 from $1.53.

Bear Stearns

TheStreet Recommends

, however, reiterated its buy rating and $100 target, while

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

maintained its strong buy rating.

Picking up on a concern that's been in the market about how much companies will trim

their capital expenditures,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

cut its ratings to outperform from strong buy on four major semiconductor companies. It cited "low capital spending growth in the chip industry." The stocks hit:


(KLAC) - Get KLA Corporation Report


Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report


Lam Research

(LRCX) - Get Lam Research Corporation Report


Advanced Energy Industries

(AEIS) - Get Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. Report

. All were lower, so it's no surprise that the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

, which tracks the performance of chip companies, was falling 3.5%.

Another piece of bad news to hit the markets today came from beleaguered telecom



, which warned of slower-than-expected revenues in the fourth quarter and announced plans to spin off its consumer business, MCI.

wrote a separate story about the

WorldCom warning. It lately was off almost 20% to about $19.

WorldCom's news was bringing down

British Telecom




(VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report



(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

, which only last week announced its own plans to split its company into four separate parts, was lately off 4.9%.

Brokerages are under fire after

Goldman Sachs

reduced fourth-quarter earnings forecasts by about 9% for

Lehman Brothers


, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


and Merrill Lynch


. Goldman cited softness in the IPO market and "less transparent businesses like private equity."

Lehman was falling 5.3%, MSDW was off 4.3% and Merrill was down 3.8%. Goldman

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report

got a taste of its own medicine when

Solomon Smith Barney

lowered its fourth-quarter EPS view on the firm. Goldman lately was off 4.4%. Solly, as the company is known, also cut earnings estimates for Morgan Stanley and Lehman.

So it's the bits and pieces of news that are moving the market today. And Brad Zipper, trading manager at

Herzog Heine Geduld

, said the upcoming election is also adding fuel to the fire. Although there is historically a pre-presidential election rally, he said, "most people trading don't remember the last close election and there's a lot of uncertainty right now."

One of the only pieces of good news this morning was from Goldman about


(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

first-quarter earnings being strong, driven by a revenue surge. The stock was up and down already and was the second most active stock on the Comp. Zipper said the stock would be trading erratically until the company reported next week.

Meanwhile, the Dow was hit on all sides, with only 11 components in positive territory. And only one,


(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

was adding 10 or more points.


(BA) - Get Boeing Company Report





Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company Report

were all big drags.

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Market Internals

Breadth was negative on heavy volume.

New York Stock Exchange: 1,255 advancers, 1,449 decliners, 691 million shares. 55 new 52-week highs, 24 new lows.

Nasdaq Stock Market: 1,633 advancers, 2,053 decliners, 1.2 billion shares. 38 new highs, 71 new lows.

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Most Active Stocks

NYSE Most Actives

  • Lucent (LU) : 18.6 million shares.
  • AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report: 17.7 million shares.
  • Nortel: 17.5 million shares.

Nasdaq Most Actives

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Sector Watch

Internet stocks were flying today.

(AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report

was up 3.4% after it reiterated confidence in its business strategy this morning.



was soaring 8.5%,


(EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report

was rising 5.7% and



-- an Internet incubator and investor -- was jumping 16.7%. Internet Sector

index was up 3%.

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Bonds were lately unchanged. Traders are expecting that this week's economic data will continue to show further signs of a slowing economy -- and underpin the bond market's recently strong performance.

The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note was unchanged at 99 29/32, yielding 5.761%.

The October

Purchasing Managers' Index


definition |

chart |


) fell to 48.3 from 49.9 in September, signaling a contraction in the manufacturing sector.

Construction spending


definition |

chart |


) for September rose 2.4%, after a 1.8% gain in August.

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The major European indices were mixed at the close.


FTSE 100

in London turned around to end on the upside. It was up 19.20 to 6457.60


CAC 40

in Paris rose 11.39 to 6409.05, while the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt -- which is still open for trading -- was off 2.72 to 7074.72.

After economic data on Friday showed a slowing U.S. economy, the

battered euro rose. It was lately at 0.85867.

Most Asian

equity markets closed with solid gains Wednesday, as technology shares from Seoul to Hong Kong rallied following the Nasdaq's strong performance Tuesday.

In Tokyo, the

Nikkei 225

closed up 332.8 points, or 2.3%, at 14,872.4.

In Tokyo trading, the dollar traded at 109.16 yen, up from Tuesday's close of 108.99 yen. The greenback was lately at 108.45.

Elsewhere, South Korea's


index surged 34.3, or 6.7%, to 548.8, as

SK Telecom

(SKM) - Get SK Telecom Co. Ltd. Report

jumped 13,500 won, or 5.6% to 256,000 ($224.75) and

Samsung Electronics

rocketed 20,500 won higher, or 14.4%, to 163,000.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 453.7, or 3.1%, to 15,349.0, as heavyweights

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get China Mobile Ltd. Report

rose HK$0.25, or 0.5%, to 50.50 ($6.46) and



surged HK$4.50, or 4.2%, to 113.00.

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