Updated from 9:24 a.m. EST
Investors were a bit weary after the latest flood of corporate earnings announcements brought some bad news since the market closed on Tuesday. Yesterday, the blue-chip
Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-soaked
Nasdaq Composite Index pulled off a hearty rally. In the past week, tech's been able to chalk up some decent gains.
We'll see if that happens later today. But, out of the gate, the major stock market indices were lower. The Dow was off 16 to 10,635. The Nasdaq was 8 lower to 2832. And the
S&P 500, which tracks the broader market, was down 2 to 1358.
, the beleaguered telecommunications equipmentmaker, this morning said that its
earnings were worse than expected. Lucent lost 30 cents a share in its first quarter, more than the 27-cent-a-share loss expected by analysts. The company also confirmed that it would slash 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion restructuring charge. Still, the stock was up 1.3% to $19.13. It's well off its 52-week high that was closer to $71.
Lucent is not alone in slashing jobs. The newly merged
AOL Time Warner
reportedly has plans to
cut its workforce. And a host of smaller, Internet companies, including most recently
, have been letting go employees as they try to race to the finish line of profitability. Excite and MarchFirst announced their layoffs last night, as
did PC maker
was skipping 15.1% higher after it reported earnings last night that surpassed estimates by 2 cents and revenue that was $200 million more than expected. Wow, right?
you have to remember the numbers it beat had been slashed back in
December when Lucent issued its latest warning.
While investors were focusing on the seemingly impressive numbers, Compaq was talking about its guidance for 2001 on a conference call. The company's CEO, Michael Cappellas, told analysts to expect revenue to grow 6% to 8% in 2001, well below estimates.
Tom Lepri took a detailed look at the call in an
But all was not distorted or disappointing in other earnings announcements.
was up 4.2% after posting shining earnings Tuesday after the close. The software company's fourth-quarter results were a nickel
better than expected, but the company did say its growth slowed. Siebel left its 2001 guidance unchanged, but hinted that its first-quarter revenue would beat expectations.
Also after the close, communications chipmaker
estimates by a penny and reported higher-than-expected revenue. The company's guidance for its next quarter said it would also beat estimates. Still, it was 4.1% lower this moring.
This morning, another stream of earnings announcements came out with stars going to blue-chips
, which both beat estimates. DuPont's estimates had been
previously lowered, though. ExxonMobil was helped by higher oil prices.
both reported earlier today. Pfizer's numbers were
in line with estimates, while Bristol-Myers managed to beat expectations by a penny.
There might be some sitting out today, however, as investors wait to hear what
Federal Reserve chair
Big Al says tomorrow when he addresses the
. His speech happens just two trading days before he and his crew meet up at the
Federal Open Market Committee. Investors are focused on the meeting, which concludes on Jan. 31, to find out the future direction of interest rates.
yesterday took a look at how soggy sentiment is
blurring the outlook for an economic recovery.
Last week, it was practically a given that the Fed was going to cut rates by 50 basis points, but this week, as the country gets used to a new president and many earnings reports come out as predicted, word on the Street is the cut will be only 25 basis points, which is a quarter of a percentage point.
The earnings reports keep rolling off the presses, so check back to the site regularly for the latest news and market reaction.
Back to top
Bureau of the Public Debt will issue its
Treasury buyback announcement. Also on Thursday, eyes will be on the latest
initial jobless claims. The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was lately unchanged at 103 14/32, yielding 5.287%.
Back to top
The major European markets were on the slide since midday. They were boosted by computer and software companies, which were benefiting from positive earnings news Compaq and Siebel Systems.
was up 80 to 6294. The English market was also jumping for joy over some heavy hinting that the
Bank of London
is likely to lower interest rates in the next few weeks. According to minutes of the latest monthly meeting of the
Monetary Policy Committee
-- which was held on Jan. 11 -- four of nine members voted in favor of cutting the benchmark lending rate.
Meanwhile, across the channel, Paris'
was climbing 46 to 5886, and Germany's
was pulling off a slight rally, 9 higher to 6731.
The dollar was lately trading at 0.9228 euro.
Happy Chinese New Year! The celebratory mood didn't spill into other parts of Asia, however. Japan's
slid 91 points to 13894.
The yen fell against the dollar after a newswire reported that Lawrence Lindsey, economic adviser to President
George W. Bush
, said the U.S. would favor a weaker yen. Lindsey had said in talks with Japanese officials last week that the U.S. would tolerate the yen at 120 per dollar. The greenback was lately trading at 117.9 yen.
For more on the world stock markets, check out TheStreet.com's
global indices information.
Back to top