John J. Edwards III
The tech rally, such as it was, seems to have run out of steam just when a couple of strong earnings reports were supposed to have powered it onward.
After the close yesterday,
Advanced Micro Devices
both reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded Wall Street's consensus expectations. It's surprising that solid profit from a couple of chip makers at the dawn of earnings season has done little to spark the market or to lift the recently resurgent
Nasdaq Composite Index
Instead, that tech-laden market opened slightly higher and then lost a quick five points before recovering to near yesterday's close. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
has followed a similar trajectory, led lower by
Procter & Gamble
. Bonds are weaker ahead of economic data coming at the end of the week.
Nasdaq High Technology Index
is modestly higher, but the expected surge in tech stocks is nowhere to be seen. What happened? One trader advised a closer look at Motorola's report, which shows a bottom-line earnings surprise -- but also a disconcertingly narrow profit margin. If that's the harbinger of reports yet to come, the tech rally might sputter in coming days.
Of course, some traders humbly take a different view. As one opined, "The market was down earlier; now it's not down as much. Who the heck knows?"