We Pity the Fools Who Ran From Today's Fight - TheStreet

We Pity the Fools Who Ran From Today's Fight

After looking like it would end up on the canvas, most indices fought back today and ended higher.
Publish date:


Clubber Lang, the action today was "not so bad" for those long, especially compared to midday indications and the talk of crashes on


After trading as low as 9976.02, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed up 96.57, or 1%, to 10,116.28. Similarly, the

S&P 500

closed up 6.72, or 0.5%, to 1254.13 after declining to as low as 1233.66.

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Mr. T's

tour-de-force character, the

Nasdaq Composite Index

took a beating today, falling as low as 2632.01. But the tech-robed index proved Rocky-esque, reviving with a flurry in the final rounds of the session to close off 42.68, or 1.6%, to 2689.15.

The initial decline came amid continued concerns about earnings and valuations for high-tech stocks. The skittish mood was exacerbated by cautious comments from computer printer maker

Lexmark International


, which declined 30.1%.

But big tech bellwethers such as


(MSFT) - Get Report

dramatically pared intraday losses while others, such as

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, recovered all lost ground to finish higher. The

Nasdaq 100

lost 1.7% to 2362.11 after trading as low as 2299.95. Similarly, the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

slid 2.6% to 499.18 after trading as low 488.03.

Nonetheless, the most public face of equities got its biggest boost from

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report


American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

. Financials in general outperformed following another round of strong earnings from big names in the group (including J.P. Morgan). The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index

rose 2.7%.

Other strong Dow components included


(MRK) - Get Report


Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

as consumer staples received some buying interest. The

Morgan Stanley Consumer Index

rose 1.6%.



was the Dow's biggest negative influence.


Russell 2000

fell 5.80, or 1.4%, to 408.90.

Internet favorites also declined, sending

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index down 15.24, or 2.2%, to 669.86, although off its session low of 651.08. Additionally,


Red Hots index fell 3.48, or 1.7%, to 205.02. The 20-stock index tracks action in particularly volatile stocks and is meant to measure so-called hot money.

Rather than any fundamental development, Bryan Piskorowski, market analyst at

Prudential Securities

said the ability of the S&P December futures contract to hold the 1240 level was key to the market's turnaround today. The contract traded as low as 1241.60 before closing at 1266.10.

"We'd been petering around that

1240 level and with the lack of follow-through

selling there, some big buyers stepped in and it snapped us back," Piskorowski said. "Outside of that, I saw nothing specific to give forth a pop. It's looking like a short-covering rally."

The strategist noted that bonds closed at their lows of the day and "we're still hamstrung by


tomorrow." Even if the report is friendly, "I don't think you'll get the sense that all's clear," he said. "We'll still be hop-scotching from number to number," such as the

employment cost index

on Oct. 28.

Some of the market's "generals" rebounded "in brilliant fashion" today, but Piskorowksi is "not a believer" in the talk about markets having established a bottom.

"You're not seeing the big-five Nasdaq guys getting whacked around," he said. "They've taken some lumps but are not washed out. Until then, you're not going to see a bottom. It's going to be choppy, dicey and volatile at least the remainder of the month."

Federal Reserve


Alan Greenspan

"wants uncertainty to keep a lid on whatever asset bubble" the Fed sees," Piskorowksi continued. "The market wants closure but they don't want to give it to us. If anything, I think Greenspan is smiling. He's creating uncertainty which is exactly what he's looking to do."

Omens & Portents

Although today provided a respite from the heavy selling of the past week -- the Comp being an exception -- tensions remain high on Wall Street. (Repeat, tensions are high.) The late-day surge did not stop people from talking about tomorrow being the anniversary of the 1987 crash and other decidedly unpleasant occurrences (for those long).

However, not everybody is preparing for a commemorative session.

A crash "is not something that's going to happen because it's the anniversary" of the 1987 decline, said Bob Basel, director of listed trading at

Salomon Smith Barney

. "A lot of people want to look at

the anniversary but I don't think there's any panic."

Even at today's lows, Basel said, "I don't see the market getting crushed." The trader noticed -- as others have -- that volume hasn't been overwhelmingly high of late, nor was it today.

However, some big names continue be deluged by sell orders, notably


(XRX) - Get Report

, down 13.2%, and

Tyco International


, which lost another 7.6%.


New York Stock Exchange

trading, 818.7 million shares were exchanged while declining stocks bested advancers 1,947 to 1,093. In

Nasdaq Stock Market

action 1 billion shares traded while losers led 2,670 to 1,387. New 52-week lows swamped new highs 399 to 8 on the Big Board and by 220 to 33 in over-the-counter trading.

Trading was staccato-like as investors seem eager to buy recent dips but wary about forthcoming economic data, particularly tomorrow's

consumer price index


Ahead of the CPI report, the price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 21/32 to 97 12/32, its yield rising to 6.32%.

Among other indices, the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

fell 11.51, or 0.4%, to 2844.07; the

Dow Jones Utility Average

gained 3.79, or 1.3%, to 298.52; and the

American Stock Exchange Composite Index

slid 2.51, or 0.3%, to 774.49.

Elsewhere in North American equities, the

Toronto Stock Exchange 300

fell 16.20 to 6868.20 and the

Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index

rose 82.42, or 1.7%, to 4907.47.

Monday's Company Report

By Eileen Kinsella
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.


King World


rose 7/16 to 35 1/16 after saying it has pushed back its shareholder vote on whether to merge with


(CBS) - Get Report

until Nov. 1. King World said the delay, which is the fourth since CBS announced its plans to merge with


(VIA) - Get Report

, was necessary to allow the company to disseminate a supplement which includes information on CBS's merger plans with Viacom. Shares of CBS climbed 11/16 to 43 7/8.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Cardinal Health

(CAH) - Get Report

slipped 1/16 to 49 9/16 after its said that

Catholic Healthcare West

inked a five-year deal to purchase more than $1.5 billion of its products and services. Catholic Healthcare will purchase pharmaceutical distribution services, medical supplies and automated medications and supply dispensing systems from Cardinal, which said last week that its fiscal 2000 earnings forecast is in line with the consensus estimate of $2.53 a share.


(CSCO) - Get Report

rose 1/4 to 67 3/8 and


(IBM) - Get Report

slipped 7/8 to 107 after the companies said that they would team up to create

Application Service Providers

, software companies that develop Internet-based applications which offer the applications to businesses through the Web.

GE Capital

(GE) - Get Report

gained 1 7/8 to 117 5/8 after it agreed to purchase

J.C. Penney's

(JCP) - Get Report

credit card division for an undisclosed amount. Shares of J.C. Penney climbed 1 3/16 to 31 3/16.

Genzyme General


dropped 3, or 7.6%, to 36 5/16 after saying it would acquire

Cell Genesys


in a tax-free stock swap valued at roughly $350 million. Shares of Cell rose 1 1/4, or 17.7%, to 8 3/8.


(NI) - Get Report

slipped 5/8 to 21 after it increased its hostile bid for

Columbia Energy Group

(CG) - Get Report

to $6.1 billion. NiSource has bid $74 a share for Columbia, up from its June bid of $68 a share, which Columbia rejected as inadequate. Shares of Columbia closed up 1 5/8 to 62 1/8.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Report

gained 1/4 to 50 3/8 after it posted first-quarter earnings of $1.96 a share, ahead of the 11-analyst estimate of $1.91. Separately, Delta confirmed it is buying the remainder of

Comair Holdings


that it doesn't already own for about $1.8 billion, or $23.50 a share. The news was reported in today's

Wall Street Journal

. Shares of Comair jumped 1 5/8, or 28.7%, to 23.

American Home Products


jumped 1 1/4, to 46 3/16 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, excluding charges, a penny better than then the 20-analyst estimate. Year-ago earnings were 46 cents a share.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

rose 1 3/8 to 49 9/16 after posting third-quarter earnings of $1.23 a share, beating the 25-analyst estimate of $1.21 and the year-ago 21 cents.



was unchanged at 15 3/8 after saying it expects 1999 sales to rise to $250 million from $219.6 million in 1998. The company also announced the appointment of Philip Barr as president and CEO.


(C) - Get Report

gained 1 9/16 to 43 11/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of the 22-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 20 cents.

Crown Cork & Seal

(CCK) - Get Report

added 3/16 to 22 1/2 after it reported third-quarter operating of 87 cents a share, below the 10-analyst estimate of 90 cents and better than a year-ago 80 cents a share.

Continental Airlines

(CAL) - Get Report

inched up 1/4 to 36 5/16 after it reported third-quarter earnings of $1.53 a share, beating the 12-analyst estimate of $1.47 and up from the year-ago 97 cents.

Cooper Tire

(CTB) - Get Report

gained 1/16 to 17 1/8 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 39 cents.

Eastman Kodak


slipped 5/16 to 70 9/16 after posting third-quarter earnings of $1.45 a share, excluding a restructuring charge, beating the 11-analyst estimate of $1.43 and up from the year-ago $1.21.

El Paso Electric

(EE) - Get Report

lost 1/8 to 8 7/8 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share, missing the two-analyst estimate of 46 cents, but above the year-ago 37 cents.


(F) - Get Report

gained 1 1/2 to 52 1/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 90 cents a share, 5 cents ahead of the First Call 13-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 80 cents.

Separately, Ford CFO Wayne Booker said that the company is experiencing setbacks in overseas project upgrades and doesn't expect a complete recovery in Europe or South America next year. Initially, the automaker said that it wanted to breakeven in South America and boost operating profits in Europe during fiscal 2000. Booker said although Brazil is stable, Ford rebound in South America, where it lost $72 million in the third-quarter compare to the year-ago $44-million loss, is riding on the start-up of a new assembly plant and said that an "absolute solution" in Europe is two to three years away.



fell 1/4 to 5 11/16 after saying Hurricane Floyd would lessen its third-quarter results by $700,000 to $900,000.



jumped 6 13/16 or 16.2%, to 49 1/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, better than the 16-analyst estimate of 10 cents a share and up from a year-ago loss of 3 cents a share. Immunex also said it expects Enbrel, its top-selling drug, to generate $350 million in sales this year, up from its original projection of $300 million. The company also predicted the drug will generate $2 billion in annual sales within three to five years.

National Penn Bancshares


posted third-quarter earnings of 42 cents a share, in line with the single-analyst estimate and up from 36 cents a year ago.

John Nuveen


slipped 11/16 to 36 5/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 71 cents a share, in line with the three-analyst estimate and up from 61 cents a year ago.

J.P. Morgan jumped 7 5/16, or 6.9%, to 113 after reporting third-quarter earnings of $2.22 a share, ahead of the 12-analyst estimate of $2.15 and up from the year-ago 58 cents, which excludes a gain. J.P. Morgan's board approved a $3 billion stock buyback.

Lexmark International plummeted 28, or 30.1%, to 65 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share, beating the First Call 9-analyst estimate of 54 cents and the year-ago 41 cents. Also, Lexmark said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to be "in the lower half" of the range of analysts' estimates of 66 cents to 80 cents a share.

Mercantile Bankshares

(MRBK) - Get Report

inched up 5/16 to 31 1/2 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 59 cents a share, above both the 16-analyst estimate of 57 cents and the year-ago 52 cents.

Mirage Resorts


slipped 1 1/4, or 8.3%, to 13 7/8 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, below the 20-analyst estimate of 18 cents and the year-ago 16 cents.

Minnesota Power


added 5/16 to 17 1/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share, well above the six-analyst estimate of 43 cents and up from the year-ago 39 cents a share.



jumped 1 1/16 to 75 15/16 after it posted a third-quarter loss of $1.10 per share, a penny narrower than the 18-analyst estimate and narrower than the year-ago loss of $1.56.

Northern Trust

(NTRS) - Get Report

added 5/16 to 85 11/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 90 cents a share, beating the eight-analyst estimate of 88 cents and the year-ago 78 cents.

Peco Energy

(PE) - Get Report

added 5/8 to 37 3/4 after it reported third-quarter operating net of $1.25 a share, better than the 13-analyst estimate of $1.24 a share and up from $1.13 a year-ago.


(PNR) - Get Report

slipped 3/16 to 38 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share, beating the seven-analyst estimate of 68 cents and up from the year-ago 60 cents.



added 5/8 to 53 1/2 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 60 cents.


(RLI) - Get Report

edged down 5/16 to 30 1/2 after posting third-quarter operating earnings of 69 cents a share, above the three-analyst estimate of 65 cents, and up from 53 cents a year ago.

Ryerson Tull


lost 1/8 to 22 7/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, in line with the seven-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 21 cents.


(SLB) - Get Report

rose 3/8 to 54 3/4 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, in line with the 30-analyst estimate. The year-ago result was a loss of 5 cents a share, including charges.

A.O. Smith

(AOS) - Get Report

lost 3/16 to 28 9/16 after reporting third-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, above both the three-analyst estimate of 50 cents and the year-ago 46 cents.

TCF Financial


added 1/4 to 27 3/4 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, in line with the 14-analyst estimate and up from 42 cents a year ago.



lost 7/8 to 22 1/8 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, below the three-analyst estimate of 37 cents, and the year-ago 39 cents a share.



added 1 9/16 to 46 1/8 after posting third-quarter earnings of $2.32 a share, above the nine-analyst estimate of $2.19 and up from the year-ago $1.80.



rose 2 11/16 to 70 9/16 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, in line with the 22-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 34 cents.


Onyx Pharmaceuticals


inched up 15/32 after it said it would with unite with Warner-Lambert to jointly create and market its anti-cancer virus, ONYX-015 and two new anti-cancer viruses. The deal calls for Warner-Lambert to give $40 million to back ONYX-015 Phase III studies and pay $15 million over two years in up-front payments and equity investments.


(XRX) - Get Report

dropped 3 5/8, or 13.2% after it posted earnings that matched analysts' reduced expectations after the company issued a profit warning earlier this month. Xerox reported earnings of 47 cents a share, in line with the 12-analyst estimate, but down from the year-ago 53 cents. Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich cut his rating on Xerox to near-term neutral, long-term accumulate from near-term accumulate, long-term buy.

Offerings and stock actions

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

said it upped the expected price range of its IPO to $16 to $18 a share, from $13 to $15 a share. Martha Stewart Living is planning to sell 7.2 million shares, worth about $111.8 million, which will be used to buy back stock held by

Time Publishing Ventures

, a unit of

Time Warner


and for general accounting purposes.



bounced 17 1/2, or 8.7%, to 218 after it said it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Uno Restaurant


mounted 5/16 to 11 1/4 after it said that it has pushed back a stock offering, blaming a recent drop in its stock price and market volatility for the postponement.

Analyst actions

Goldman Sachs

rolled out coverage of




Kana Communications


with market outperform ratings. Shares of Ashford fell 13/16, or 6.6%, to 11 5/8, while Kana Communications retreated 2 1/2 to 68.

Merrill Lynch upgraded

BindView Development


to intermediate-term buy from accumulate. BindView mounted 3/8 to 27 1/8.

SG Cowen

initiated coverage of

Cognizant Technology

(CTSH) - Get Report

with a buy rating and set a price target of 43. Cognizant hopped 4 13/16, or 17.6%, to 32 1/2.

Warburg Dillon Read

sliced its rating on both

Diamond Offshore

(DO) - Get Report


Transocean Offshore

(RIG) - Get Report

to hold. Diamond Offshore shares stumbled 13/16 to 31 1/4, while Transocean dwindled 1 3/16 to 26 1/2.



plummeted 11, or 15%, to 62 after

Merrill Lynch

rolled out coverage of the shares with an accumulate rating.


sliced its rating on

Linens 'N Things

(LIN) - Get Report

to attractive from buy. Linens 'N Things lost 2 7/16, or 6.6%, to 34 1/8.

J.P. Morgan upped its rating on

Sprint PCS


to a buy from a long-term buy. Sprint PCS jumped 1 1/4 to 71 1/4.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded the shares of


(SYY) - Get Report

to outperform from neutral. Sysco shares added 1 1/4 to 33 15/16.


Securities and Exchange Commission

chairman Arthur Levitt said the agency will issue an order to require the four U.S. options exchanges to develop an interexchange electronic link to ensure the best prices for orders.

Eastman Chemical

(EMN) - Get Report

popped 13/16 to 38 15/16 after it said it would cut its workforce by 1,200 jobs, or 7%, in an effort to save $100 million. The job cuts, which are included in a $200 million savings plan, will cause a fourth-quarter restructuring charge. In addition, the company said it would slash 2000 capital spending to roughly $250 million, down $100 million from the prior year.



fell 1 13/16 to 69 9/16 after it said it named two of its senior executives to run the two halves of its recently acquired

Data General

business, as CEO Ronald Skates announced plans to retire. The company named Frank Hauck, head of EMC's customer services unit, as senior vice president and head of the Data General integration efforts, while Robert Dutkowsky EMC's sales and marketing chief, will become president of the Data General unit, in charge of the AViiON line.



tumbled 3/8 to 8 1/2 after it said it has tapped G.A. Gagiardi as its president and CEO.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


climbed 2 1/4 to 90 3/8 after it said it plans to revamp its online brokerage business, according to reports in

The New York Times

and the





hopped 7/16 to 23 3/4 after it said it launched an e-commerce Web site,


, which includes 500 items for sale. The site's

NM Virtual Studio

feature will enable customers to access help from a personal shopper through email, if products aren't available on line.

SBC Communications


fell 1/4 to 48 7/16 after it unveiled its plans to roll out a $6 billion Internet voice, data and video services initiative. The company said the plan, which is called Project Pronto, will enable SBC to take full advantage of its recent $61 billion purchase of




(TTEC) - Get Report

mounted 3/16 to 13 1/8 after it said it has tapped former

Lucent Technologies


executive Scott Thompson as its new president and CEO. Thompson will replace Kenneth Tuchman, who is stepping down from his role as CEO but will continue to serve as the company's chairman.