(Updated from 9:24 a.m. EDT)
Things were looking up for technology stocks in early trading after last week's ugly mess of selling. But after a few minutes in positive territory, tech stocks fell into the negative.
Investors are worried that corporate profits will surrender to a slowing economy, a depressed euro and high-flying oil prices, but some optimistic comments from
Federal Reserve Chairman
on continuing growth in technology this morning may have calmed some of them. Addressing the
American Bankers Association
, Greenspan said this morning that there was no sign that the explosion of innovation that has transformed the financial industry was coming to a close.
futures swung around into the green shortly afterward.
"We continue to move at an exceptionally rapid pace, fueled by both computing and telecommunications capabilities," Greenspan said.
Meanwhile, some reassuring comments on tech mammoth Microsoft
also looked set to give some wind to tech.
analyst Rick Sherlund, one of Wall Street's most influential analysts on the company, said in a report that Microsoft had no plans to pre-announce results and that it remains comfortable with revenue estimates for the September quarter.
In early trading, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average moved 23 lower to 10,903. The
Nasdaq Composite Index lost 14 to 3821. And the
S&P 500 moved 3 lower to 1463.
Company news and analyst actions were mixed.
announced that it expects lower second-half earnings, while a few companies got hit by lowered price targets and downgrades. Goldman Sachs lowered its rating on
Black & Decker
Credit Suisse First Boston
dropped its earnings estimates for trucking firm
. ICGX fell 32.8% in early trading. Black & Decker was 4.4% lower in early going.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette
said it was raising its earnings per share estimates on
for 2001 to $1.82 from $1.65 and for 2002 to $2.50 from $2.20. DLJ based its revision on growing strength in each of the company's business segments, including networking, telecom, computer, consumer and medical. The company has raised its estimates about seven times this year. Flextronics was up 3.6% in early trading.
And shares of telecoms
were getting a lift in preopen action after they announced talks to hitch up their business services and wireless divisions. Since the beginning of this year, both companies' shares have been under pressure. British Telecom was up 2.2% in early trading. AT&T was gaining 0.8%.
, meanwhile, was also tickling higher in extended-hours trading after the
Federal Drug Administration
approved the company's new HIV drug sooner than expected.
And nuptials continue to crowd the financial arena after Germany's
confirmed it would buy U.S. investment bank
for around $1.37 billion in stock. Dresdner said the marriage would bolster its merger-and-acquisition advisory services. Just last week,
Chase Manhattan Bank
plans to unite .
Meanwhile, watch for retailer
second-quarter earnings report today. The store operator earlier this month warned that the earnings for its retail store group would fall below previous forecasts, citing costs associated with it abandoning its major-appliance business. Shares of Circuit City closed down Friday 63 cents to $24.63. Circuit City gained 2% in early trading.
Crude oil prices edged just slightly lower overnight after
said over the weekend that it would raise output, if necessary, before its November meeting. Still, oil remains high, at $36 a barrel.
But the euro continued to wilt, lately trading at $0.8542
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The 10-year Treasury note was lately down 10/32 at 98 30/32, yielding 5.892%.
Last week, bond prices took a beating and the Treasury yield curve inverted, indicating broad sentiment that the
Federal Reserve is finished hiking interest rates -- and may even have to lower the fed funds rate sometime next year.
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European markets were mixed this morning.
was up 28.10 to 6445.40.
Across the channel, the
in Paris was down 43.32 to 6571.33, and the
in Frankfurt was down 29.77 to 6969.77.
The embattled euro was lately trading higher at $0.8543.
Asian markets were getting quite a beating today.
Japanese stocks were hit by light profit-taking ahead of the close of the fiscal first half, while Korea got pummeled amid ongoing troubles at
index shed 152.12 to close at 16,061.16,
In Tokyo currency trading, the greenback fell slightly lower against the yen to fetch 107.02. It was lately trading at 106.85.
Korea's market sentiment deteriorated after U.S. auto giant
last week said it was pulling out of its planned buyout of troubled Daewoo.
index dropped 50.64, or 8.1%, today to close at 577.56. Ford's pullout could pave the way for rivals
to come back into the game and negotiate with Daewoo. However, until a concrete deal has been made, foreign investors are fleeing Seoul for now, traders said.
Among the hardest hit in Seoul were
index fell 689.37, or 4.2%, to stand at 15,560.16, largely on concerns over higher oil prices and the weakness in the euro. The index falling below its 250-day moving average of 15,800 also triggered massive technical selling, traders said.
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