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Today's Market: Nasdaq Moving Higher at Midday, DuPont Weighing Down Dow

Nasdaq trying to bounce back after a few tough days.

Even LL Cool J might be tempted to call today's tech-sector move a

comeback as the

Nasdaq Composite Index makes an attempt to repair its painful 5.1% drop since Friday.

Coming out of the Labor Day holiday weekend, fears about slower third-quarter earnings turned into a two-day sell-fest that wiped out nearly half of the roughly 12% rally in August.

"The bias is positive and investors are just looking to buy the dips," said Jack Ablin, manager of

Colonial Asset Management

in Jacksonville, Fla., adding that he doesn't read too much into the move up today, since the Comp was getting oversold."There is still a lot of cash on the sidelines, but we're not looking for any screaming buys."

The Comp was lately up 66 to 4080.

Meanwhile it was the

Dow Jones Industrial Average's turn to take some lumps as the average was unable to keep a hold on the modest gains of the past two days. It was lately down 23 to 11,288. Weakness in


(DD) - Get Report


J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

was outweighing strength in tech components. J.P. Morgan was down 3.8% after soaring 5% yesterday on

takeover talk.

Chemical top dog DuPont this morning warned that it would miss 2000 earnings per share estimates due to increases in energy and raw materials costs. Oil prices have consistently hit new 10-year highs in the past week. The stock was lately down 11%.

Semiconductor stocks were showing some strength with the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

up 3.3%. Bellwether

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

, which was hit by a downgrade yesterday, was up 1.2% today, to $31.13.

Elsewhere in the market, the broader

S&P 500 was up 9 to 1501, the small-cap

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 539.

Internet stocks were under fire after seeing a nice runup last month, and the Internet Sector

index was down 10 to 836.

Internet sector guru

Henry Blodget was the culprit.

Merrill Lynch's

Blodget appeared on the scene around the open this morning with a report saying that online advertising agency

Avenue A's

announcement that it will miss third-quarter earnings confirmed his belief that "this will be a tough quarter for the online advertising industry as a result of the ongoing dot-com shakeout."

Market Internals

Breadth was mixed on just moderate volume.

New York Stock Exchange: 1,284 advancers, 1,349 decliners, 560 million shares. 95 new 52-week highs, 29 new lows.

Nasdaq Stock Market: 1,903 advancers, 1,749 decliners, 907 million shares. 61 new highs, 26 new lows.

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Most Active Stocks

NYSE Most Actives

  • Associates First (AFS) : 13.8 million shares.
  • Citigroup (C) - Get Report: 12.8 million shares.
  • Compaq (CPQ) : 12.2 million shares.

Nasdaq Most Actives

  • Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report: 39.3 million shares.
  • Read Rite (RDRT) : 28.8 million shares.
  • WorldCom (WCOM) : 22.2 million shares.

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Sector Watch

Drug stocks were soaring this morning after falling on

Banc of America Securities'

analyst Leonard Yaffe's downgrade of the pharmaceutical sector to market weight from overweight Tuesday. Yaffe said he believes growth of the U.S. drug industry could slow significantly and that a shift to generic drugs would hurt the sectors biggest companies.

The American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

was lately up 1.8%, with heavy-hitters


(MRK) - Get Report


Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report



(PFE) - Get Report

edging higher.

Oil service stocks were sinking after OPEC said it plans to raise output by 700,000 barrels a day when it meets in Vienna on Sunday. Crude oil prices edged off a little from a 10-year high. Oil service stocks have seen a wild run-up since late July as surging prices kept surprising the market. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was lately down 0.1%.

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Treasuries were falling on little news as the economic data drought continued.

The benchmark 10-year note was lately down 4/32 to 100 3/32, and yielding 5.74%.

With no major economic reports slated before next Thursday's (

retail sales and the

Producer Price Index) and Friday's (the

Consumer Price Index and

industrial production, the Treasury market is biding its time, looking to energy prices and the corporate bond-offering calendar for guidance.

Oil yesterday hit a 10-year high, and the corporate bond-offering calendar is projected to be heavy for the month, competing with Treasuries for investor dollars.


In late trading, the European indices were mixed with London's


down 5.5 to 6689, while in Paris the


was down 37.67 to 6834.46. Germany's

Xetra Dax

was bucking the trend, rising 39.39 to 7372.41.

Asian markets took a little trip lower overnight.

Buying in software and transportation shares countered selling on weak economic data in Japan, but the

Nikkei 225

index shed 99.41 to close at 16,300.46.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index dipped 173.28, or 1%, to close at 17,431.95, largely on investor disappointment with the share placement of

. The firm said it would place up to 60 million shares at HK$5.08 each with an option to see up to 15.8 million additional shares at the same price. With shares closing down HK$0.65, or 11.2%, at 5.15 ($0.66) today, investors wondered why the firm decided to place shares at such a discount.

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