Skip to main content

Wall Street Gets Back to Basics as Tech-Led Rally Pauses

Basic materials stocks were among the standouts in a downside day. Plus, the UPS IPO is priced above-range, and the IMF's chief quits.

Tech, schmech.

Today it was all about rallying basic materials and energy stocks, with money rotating into those areas and out of recent winning sectors, notably tech. Oil, oil service, paper and gold mining stocks were among the sectors sporting steep gains. Chemical stocks also posted a nice upside hop.

As for technology stocks, which have been among the market's leaders in its recent rally, they took a break from that position -- at least for today. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

fell 18.93, or 0.6%, to 3125.04, after starting out the session with a nice swing higher. The Nasdaq Comp peaked out of the gate, trading as high as 3174.81. But it quickly gave up those gains and traded in negative territory the rest of the session, although it did close off its intraday nadir.

Volume was heaviest by far on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, which experienced its heaviest day of trading ever as 1.459 billion shares changed hands. That was enough to beat the previous record of 1.438 billion shares changing hands

Oct. 29.

With today's negative close, the Comp broke its string of seven consecutive record-high closes. Computer makers and financials weighed on the Comp. Not helping out the Comp's cause were index heavyweights










MCI WorldCom


, which all stumbled.

Cisco traded down ahead of its earnings report, which was released after the close. Cisco posted first-quarter operating earnings of 24 cents a share, a penny ahead of the

First Call/Thomson Financial

32-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 17 cents. (

joint newsroom covered the report in a

story this evening.) Cisco was in the news this morning for its

acquisition of

Aironet Wireless Communications



Also after the close,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


United Parcel Service's


mammoth 109.4 million-share IPO above an already increased price range at $50 a share, raising $5.47 billion for the package shipper with the flashy uniforms, making it the largest U.S. IPO in history in terms of proceeds. The original price range was $36 to $42 a share, later bumped up to $47 to $49 a share.

previewed the offering in a

story today.

Gains Scarce Among Blue-Chips

Blue-chips fell. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gave up 101.53, or 1%, to 10,617.32.

Reflecting the trend overall in the market, among the Dow's biggest positive influences -- and there weren't many -- were commodity-related stocks




International Paper


. Losers in the Dow 30 were widespread, with 23 components sliding.


S&P 500

slumped 11.73, or 0.9%, to 1365.28. On the plus side, the

Russell 2000

rose. It added 1.21, or 0.3%, to 446.28. Internet Sector

index slipped 1.89, or 0.2%, to 839.01.





dragged the DOT down the most.

Red Hots index fell 1.48, or 0.5%, to 285.46. The 20-stock index tracks action in particularly volatile stocks and is meant to measure so-called hot money.

Scott Curtis, senior equity trader at

Brown Brothers Harriman

, said there was a lack of follow-through which led to the market's slump. The trader highlighted consumer and financials as sectors, which took a hit today, but he also noted they've had good runs.

Overall, the trader said it wasn't a really exciting day, although the Dow did fall 100 points, but that has come after running up 700 points recently, he pointed out.

As for Treasuries, the 30-year Treasury bond fell 6/32 to 100 24/32, yielding 6.07%. The long bond slipped as the market waded through a $15 billion auction of five-year notes today and ahead of a $10 billion auction of 10-year notes tomorrow and some key economic data tomorrow and Friday. The bond market is closed Thursday in observance of Veterans Day. The stock market is open.

On the economic data front, tomorrow the October

Producer Price Index

will be released, while on Friday

retail sales

and preliminary third-quarter


figures will be released.

Oil service and oil issues rallied with crude oil prices in part after the

International Energy Agency

said oil stocks among members of the

Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development

"plummeted" by 1.8 million barrels a day in September. IEA also said that October compliance with OPEC's production cutback agreements fell slightly to 87% down from an upwardly revised 91% in September.

Also helping out oil and oil service stocks was a statement from Kuwait's oil minister, who said


members have agreed in principle to stretch output cuts beyond March 2000, according to a




Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

rallied 5.1%, while the

Chicago Board Options Exchange Oil Index

added 1.7%.

As for chemical stocks,

Credit Suisse First Boston

came out with a bullish report on the sector, which helped give those stocks a boost. The

S&P Chemical Index

jumped 1.4%.

Meanwhile, the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index

rose 1.8%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index

advanced 1.4%.

Financials, which have been on a tear lately, were prominent losers. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index

fell 2.3%, while the

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

shed 2%.

Breadth Goes From 'Terrible to Mediocre'

Philip Roth, chief technical analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, said the overbought tech sector was going through some profit-taking today.

The technician has been less than impressed with the market's breadth amid the recent rally. Roth said breadth has gone from "terrible to mediocre," during the advance, adding, "to say it's improved is a stretch."

Going forward, he said favorable seasonal factors will likely to come into play.

Once you mid-November passes, "that's when the bulk of tax selling is over," and the "market tends to lift after that," Roth said. As the market gets into December, the odds increase for profit-taking in stocks that have done well and bargain-hunting in stocks that have done poorly.

As for the bond market -- which has been cited as a primary fuel for the recent whopping upside in stocks -- the technician still sees bonds in a bear market with the recent "temporary" rally a "hiatus." Roth did say the bond could rally a bit more.


New York Stock Exchange

trading, 851.3 million shares were exchanged while declining stocks beat advancers 1,708 to 1,306. On the Nasdaq, losers beat winners 2,114 to 1,887. New 52-week lows beat new highs 93 to 68 on the Big Board, while new highs beat new lows 215 to 85 in over-the-counter trading.

Among other indices, the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

tumbled 41.80, or 1.4%, to 2989.41; the

Dow Jones Utility Average

slumped 2.70, or 0.9%, to 299.48; and the

American Stock Exchange Composite Index

rose 2.84, or 0.4%, to 812.31.

Elsewhere in North American equities, the

Toronto Stock Exchange 300

gained 4.75 to 7292.58 and the

Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index

lost 76.58 to 5867.38.

IMF's Camdessus Calls It Quits

Michel Camdessus, International Monetary Fund managing director, announced his resignation today. Camdessus, who has been serving as managing director for 13 years, plans to leave his position as early as mid-February, at which point a successor will be named. The resignation follows months of controversy surrounding the IMF and its role in the Asian crisis, Russian money laundering and the recent Ecuadorian default.

In his letter to the Executive Board, Camdessus tried to appear optimistic, citing personal reasons, not recent turmoil, as his motivation for leaving. His early departure cuts short his third five-year term as well as the longest stint ever for an IMF managing director.


Heather Bourbeau

Tuesday's Company Report

By Tara Murphy
Staff Reporter


Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.


Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures



lost 1 13/16 to 45 11/16 despite saying it won a $125 million contract from



for voice and data services. Shares of CVS slipped 1/16 to 37 3/16. According to the transaction terms,

AT&T Solutions

would provide a connection between different CVS stores through its networking hardware and software.

Cisco fell 1 1/16 to 74 1/4 after it said it will buy Aironet Wireless Communications in a deal valued at about $799 million. Shares of Aironet rose 2 1/16 to 45 3/8. Cisco says it expects a charge of between 3 cents and 8 cents a share from the merger.



gained 1 1/4 to 63 3/8 while



fell 3 9/16, or 8.1%, to 40 1/4 after the companies said they will offer a Net-based service for health-care payers.

First Consulting Group


rose 3/4, or 7.5%, to 10 3/4 after it signed a seven-year deal worth about $228 million to provide information technology and telecommunications services to

New York-Presbyterian Hospital

. Under the terms of the deal, FCG Management, a newly formed entity, will hire 432 employees of the hospital's current IT staff.



fell 1 1/16, or 7.3%, to 13 5/8 after CEO Mark Hughes, who has offered to buy all outstanding shares of the company in a $500 million deal, extended his tender offer to Jan. 28.



gained 5/8 to 44 3/8 after

The Wall Street Journal

reported it held talks with Swiss drugmaker


about a possible sale of all or part of the company.

joint newsroom reported on the situation in a

story today.

Nortel Networks


fell 1 11/16 to 67 13/16 after it said it was slashing router prices and making Internet networking technology work with all types of systems. Nortel said it was allying with Intel to add elements of the new open Internet platform to Intel's Internet products.



fell 15/16 to 58 7/16 after it agreed to buy



for $8.7 million in an effort to enhance its database software line. Oracle will pay Carleton about $2.45 a share in cash. Shares of Carleton slipped 7/32, or 9%, to 2 1/4. Inc.


, publisher of this Web site, rose 1 5/16, or 9.1%, to 15 13/16 and

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette


fell 1 13/16 to 50 15/16 after saying it inked an agreement to offer's

financial news to clients of DLJ's


unit. The transaction calls for Pershing to pay for every customer who contacts the site.

United Airlines

, a unit of



said it will launch a travel portal with

Delta Air Lines





. UAL dropped 3 1/4 to 64 9/16, Delta fell 1 11/16 and Continental lost 1 1/4 to 40 1/8.



rose 2 3/16 to 90 1/16 after it reportedly sent a letter to



expressing its disappointment regarding legal proceedings brought on by Pfizer over Warner-Lambert's plans to link up with

American Home Products


. Shares of Pfizer rose 7/16 to 35 1/16 while American Home Products fell 1 1/8 to 52 7/8. Warner-Lambert said that protracted litigation was not in stockholders' best interests and that it is causing "considerable uncertainty" in the markets.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Ackerly Group


gained 1 1/16, or 6.2%, to 18 3/16 after it posted a third-quarter loss of 11 cents a share, narrower than the single-analyst estimate of a 15-cent loss and down from the year-ago 1-cent profit.

Allied Waste


fell 1, or 9.8%, to 9 1/4 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, excluding charges. The seven-analyst estimate called for earnings of 28 cents a share. Year-ago results were not available as the company said the figures aren't comparable because of an acquisition.

Goldman Sachs

cut its rating on Allied Waste to market performer from the recommended list.

Capital Re


fell 1/4 to 14 13/16 after it posted third-quarter operating earnings of 51 cents a share, in line with the single-analyst estimate, and up from a year-ago 40 cents a share.

Dollar General


gained 3/16 to 25 7/16 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share, in line with the 14-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago 15 cents a share.

Donna Karan


rose 5/8, or 7.7%, to 8 3/4 after posting third-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, a penny better than the three-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago 35 cents a share.

Equity Residential Properties


inched up 1/8 to 41 3/4 after it reported third-quarter funds from operations of $1.13 a share, a penny better than the 18-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago $1.02 a share.

Modis Professional Services


fell 1 15/16, or 14.4%, to 11 9/16 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, missing the 12-analyst estimate of 32 cents but up from the year-ago 19 cents. Modis said it sees disappointing fourth-quarter earnings of 15 cents to 18 cents a share, citing a slowdown of information technology projects ahead of the millennium. The 10-analyst estimate currently calls for earnings of 33 cents a share. Modis also said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a spinoff or IPO of its information technology unit. Modis also said its board approved the repurchase of up to $65 million of common stock. Merrill Lynch cut its rating on Modis to neutral from accumulate.



was unchanged at 6 3/8 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, in line with the 14-analyst estimate but down from 27 cents a year ago.



climbed 1/16 to 10 3/8 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, a penny shy of the three-analyst estimate. Year-ago restated earnings were 14 cents a share.

Overseas Shipping Group


lost 1/16 to 13 11/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 9 cents a share, beating the single-analyst estimate of 7 cents, but down from a year-ago 14 cents.

Polo Ralph Lauren


slipped 1/16 to 17 3/16 after it posted second-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share, in line with the 13-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago 48 cents a share.

joint newsroom wrote about Ralph Lauren's and Donna Karan's earnings reports in a

story today.



climbed 1 5/16, or 29.2%, to 5 13/16 after it posted a third-quarter loss of 47 cents a share, wider than the two-analyst estimate of a loss of 30 cents a share, but down from a year-ago loss of $1.88 a share. Sunbeam said it would sell backpack division


and other nonessential assets, and expects to receive about $200 million in net proceeds, which will be used primarily to pay down debt.

Trammel Crow


rose 1/8 to 13 15/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 41 cents a share and up from the year-ago 39 cents a share.



fell 7/8 to 57 5/8 despite reporting third-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, a penny better than the 17-analyst estimate and up from a year-ago 23 cents. The company said same-store sales for the period rose 7%, representing a 7.4% comparable increase at Wal-Mart stores and a 5.8% comparable increase at Sam's Club stores.

Merrill Lynch

added Wal-Mart to its Focus One list.

joint newsroom covered Wal-Mart's earnings in a

story today.

Offerings and stock actions



fell 2, or 6%, to 31 1/8 after it said it entered into an agreement with

Bear Stearns

to sell 2 million shares of its Class-A common stock.



climbed 2 1/16 to 62 11/16 after it said it priced its public offering of 7 million subordinate voting shares at $60.625 per share for a total of $424.4 million. Lead managers are Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and

RBC Dominion Securities


JDN Realty


mounted 1/8 to 17 15/16 after it said it set a stock buyback for up to 3 million shares.

Analysts actions

Banc of America Securities

started coverage of



with a market performer rating. Alberto Culver slid 9/16 to 23.

Salomon Smith Barney

sliced its rating on

AmerUs Life Holdings


to neutral from outperform. AmerUs Life Holdings lost 9/16 to 23 3/4.

Salomon Smith Barney cut its rating on



to outperform from buy based on valuation. Apple shares plummeted 6 3/4, or 7%, to 89 5/8.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter raised its rating on



to a strong buy from outperform. Clorox shares hopped 2 13/16, or 6.9%, to 43 1/8.

Morgan Stanley raised its price target for



to 55 from 45. Morgan Stanley also upped its price target on

Applied Materials


to 125 from 86 a share. Shares of Cymer slipped 1 1/8 to 44 5/8, while Applied Materials jumped 2 1/4 to 99 7/16.

Banc of America upgraded




Tenet Healthcare


to buy from market performer. Columbia/HCA climbed 5/8 to 25 3/4, while Tenet Healthcare added 1/2 to 21 1/8.

Credit Suisse First Boston

raised its rating on




PPG Industries


to buy from hold. DuPont shares popped 13/16 to 61 3/8, while PPG Industries was unchanged at 58 11/16.

Lehman Brothers

started coverage of

Franklin Resources


at outperform and set a price target of 39. Franklin Resources gained 3/8 to 32.

SG Cowen

started coverage of



with a buy rating. Jacada retreated 2 1/16, or 6.5%, to 29 7/8.

Prudential Securities

upped its rating on

Kulicke & Soffa Industries


to a strong buy from accumulate. Kulicke & Soffa climbed 3 1/4, or 9.3%, to 38 1/4.

Bear Stearns initiated coverage of

Network Solutions


with a buy rating and set a price target of 182. Network Solutions fell 1 to 148 1/8.

Lehman Brothers upped its price target for



to 85 from 75. Razorfish stumbled 1 3/4 to 70 1/8.

Goldman Sachs raised its price target on



to 80 from 60. Sandisk jumped 6 13/16, or 9.8%, to 76.

SG Cowen initiated coverage of



with buy rating and a price target of 150. VerticalNet soared 11 5/8, or 13.4%, to 98 3/4.

Salomon Smith Barney started coverage of Networks


with a buy rating and a price target of 35. shares skidded 5/16 to 20.

Miscellany sank 7 3/16, or 9.2%, to 70 13/16 after it said it would launch four new stores on Nov. 10, including home improvement, software, video games and gift ideas. The company also said it acquired

Tool Crib of the North

, a tools and equipment catalog company. Banc of America Securities downgraded to market perform from buy, saying it believed the company's foray into additional categories could exacerbate certain issues it already faces.

joint newsroom covered the Amazon news in a

story today.



popped 1/8 to 11 1/8 after its CEO said the company set a goal of opening four to six stores next year.

A judge in Delaware ordered

Computer Associates


to return about $550 million in stock to the company. The shares were improperly awarded as part of a controversial executive compensation package, according to plaintiffs' attorneys. Shares of Computer Associates climbed 1/16 to 58 11/16.

Microsoft, whose stock is proving to be quite

resilient amid a less-than-favorable legal

opinion, said it is set to begin offering office software over the Internet. Microsoft stumbled 1 1/8 to 88 7/8.

Newell Rubbermaid


lost 3, or 8.6%, to 32 after's

Herb Greenberg

raised questions about its accounting practices in a

column this morning.



hopped 1/8 to 28 7/16 unveiled a new corporate structure that breaks up its defense electronics unit into four separate divisions that report directly to Chairman and CEO Daniel Burnham.



slid 1/8 to 28 11/16 after it named David Harvey as president and CEO, replacing Thomas Cori, who remains as chairman. The company said the changes are part of a planned succession.



was unchanged at 43 after it said it would invest over $500 million in an expansion over the next several years. The company said it will expand its global data facilities and add up to 1,000 jobs over the next 10 years.



skidded 11/16 to 16 7/16 after it named Christina Johnson president and CEO of

Saks Fifth Avenue


Standard & Poor's




will replace



in the

S&P 500

index after the close of trading Nov. 12. Case is being acquired by

New Holland


for about $4.6 billion.

CheckFree Holdings


will replace Teradyne in the

S&P MidCap 400


Waste Management


is expected to name A. Maurice Myers as its new CEO, the


reported. Myers, currently CEO of



, would be the sixth man to serve as CEO at Waste Management since May 1996, according to the


. Shares of Waste Management retreated 7/16 to 17 15/16.

joint newsroom covered the news in a

story today.

The Heard on the Street column in the


said the

Securities and Exchange Commission

is examining why

Chase Manhattan


accumulated a discrepancy, which started at $40 billion, in an internal tracking system. However, the irregularity is not expected to affect Chase's reported financial results and no restatement of earnings is foreseen, the story said. Shares of Chase lost 1 5/16 to 83 1/16.