(Updated from 9:43 a.m. EST)
With most of the market convinced that the market "bottom" came and went last week, and with a satisfying follow-through Friday on Thursday's firecracker rally, stocks are wiggling higher today.
Following six weeks of nasty selling, institutional investors ought to have some cash on their hands.
agreed-to bid for
, a negative report on
, and news that telecom gear-maker
was replacing CEO Richard McGinn with former chairman Henry Schacht were tempering some of the optimism.
After some losses early this morning, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up 58 to 10,283. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was 10 higher to 3493. And the
S&P 500 moved fractionally higher to 1397.
Besides the executive changes, Lucent also warned that first-quarter earnings would come in at break-even levels, marking its fifth straight earnings shortfall. Lucent shares were trading at barely a quarter of their high for the year after the company's failure to execute its business plan despite red-hot demand for telecom equipment. Lucent was off 2.2%.
was getting hit in early trading. The company announced its 11th hour agreement to buy
Friday for $45 billion. GE was off 6% as investors worry that the premium being paid for Honeywell is too high.
had offered $40 billion for the company earlier Friday, but Honeywell broke off these talks in favor of General Electric's bid.
A diversified industrial empire, General Electric was one of the market's darlings this summer and even held up relatively well through the carnage of September. But the stock has taken a beating in the past three weeks.
Cisco Systems was also falling after
reported that the computer-networking equipment giant has been skewing its earnings reports over the last two fiscal years ended July.
said the company has avoided $18.2 billion in costs through a sneaky accounting technique. Cisco was off 1.2%.
Elsewhere in the news, struggling telecom
may get a boost from its most recent attempt to fix itself. The company is considering splitting itself into four separate businesses, making the largest and most profitable unit, the Business Services division, the new AT&T,
The Wall Street Journal
reported. AT&T was 0.5% lower.
Investors may also be disappointed by some reports on personal-computer shipments, reported on in
The Wall Street Journal
this morning. Concerns over slowing PC demand have put intense pressure on technology stocks this earnings season, and two separate reports showed that while shipments were strong in the third quarter, fourth-quarter growth remains uncertain.
And crude oil prices were rising again this morning. Early developments in the Middle East don't bode well for the peace process. As the two sides try to salvage a cease-fire, news reports said the Israeli army plans to retake parts of the West Bank if the Palestinians declare an independent state.
Still, there was some good earnings news out there this morning. Optical networking darling
earnings, already out this morning, should help preserve sentiment -- sparked by
last week -- that this quarter's bad earnings news is behind us. Corning beat earnings estimates by a penny with 35 cents a share. It maintained its forecasts for the year, which are at the low end of analysts' estimates, but was more positive on expectations for next year.
Salomon Smith Barney
upgraded Corning to trading buy this morning.
Investors had raised their expectations for Corning, particularly following strong results from fiber-optic suppliers
last Friday. So Corning's news is a boon for fellow sector players
Still, Corning was lately off 2.3%.
Back to top
The bond market continues to improve as funds move to safe investments in the face of international unrest.
The benchmark 10-year
Treasury note has opened up 6/32 to 101 2/32 and yielding 5.615%.
Treasury bond is at 107 19/32, 6/32 higher, to yield 5.716%.
With no economic releases today, there will probably be little new to cause any change in the market's view. Mixed performance in equities and ongoing Mideast tensions are likely to continue to dominate the market's interest.
Back to top
European markets were mixed at midsession.
The decision by
and its partners in the mobile-phone consortium
to pull out of Italy's auction for third-generation mobile-phone licenses helped lift London's stocks.
By midsession, the
was up only 2.70 points to 6279.0 as BT rallied to 739p ($10.72). The stock slipped once it was confirmed that Blu has indeed pulled out. Midsession, BT was up 19p at 734.
in Paris was off 26.27 to 6123.17, while the
in Frankfurt was 64.04 lower to 6554.39.
The euro was lately trading down to at 0.8377.
Asian equity markets closed mixed Monday, as investors in Japan and South Korea booked some profits. Their counterparts in Hong Kong and Taiwan were able to build on gains made Friday.
In Tokyo, the
closed down 100.8, or 0.7%, at 15,097.9.
In Tokyo trading, the dollar rose 0.75 to 108.95 yen. The greenback was lately trading lower to 108.43
Elsewhere, Hong Kong's
index rose to close 57.8 higher, or 0.4%, at 15,102.4, as heavyweights
put in mixed results. HSBC rose HK$3.00, or 2.8%, to 110.50 ($14.17) and China Mobile fell HK$1.50, or 2.8%, to 52.25.
Back to top