Take a look at today's closing numbers and it looks like investors had more faith in winning yesterday's Big Game lottery than they did in the stock market.
Stocks of all sectors were left in the red, as bulls dumped issues that they once regarded as an asylum from the recent market volatility. But this trading session was proof-positive that even blue-chip tech investors are unsure they can get through next Tuesday's
"All the blue-chips are taking it on the chin, people are starting to sell everything," said Patrick Boyle, director in trading at
Credit Suisse First Boston
. In past weeks, investors were delving into large-cap tech issues, attempting to shield themselves from turbulent market conditions. But this week, even the giants were poised for a sale. "Everyone is keeping an eye on what
says next Tuesday at the FOMC meeting."
finished the day off 200.1, or 5.58%, to 3384.9.
was slammed 4 1/4, or 6.7%, to 58 1/2, despite reporting third-quarter earnings that beat the 31-analyst estimate by a penny. The data networking company's shares skidded 7%, after an article in
casted doubts on its ability to sustain its $470 billion market cap.
Elsewhere on the Nasdaq,
was having a rough one, after
Salomon Smith Barney
analyst Alex Cena cut the shares to outperform from buy and took its price target to 120 from 200.
Cena said although his long-term positive outlook is unchanged, he believes the assumptions behind its more optimism view may not develop. Motorola lost 18 7/16, or 17.6%, to 86.
The influential call helped knock down other semiconductor and telecom stocks. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
, which includes Motorola, slid 85.1, or 8.56%, to 908.9.
closed out the day down 6, or 6.6%, to 84 5/8, before its second-quarter earnings report, which is due out after the close.
both fell in sympathy.
So did the blows to the blue-chips make for a market TKO, or are there a few rounds left in this fight? "The last stage of a decline is the capitulation stage," said Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at
. "In this stage, even the most confident investor are uncomfortable about holding blue-chip stocks," Dwyer said referring to the Nasdaq. The nastiest part of the decline is that the stocks that carry the most market weight get hit."
index plummeted 43.21, or 5.08%, to 807.67, with
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fought valiantly for a rally in the final hour of trading, still succumbed to its tech components drag and finished off 169, or 1.6%, to 10,367.8.
plummeted 10 7/8, or 9.3%, to 106 1/16, after it said it would replace motherboards that have a failing memory part, causing some computer systems to malfunction.
was knocked down 4.9% to 103 5/8, after Wall Street analyst walked away from yesterday's meeting with CEO Lou Gerstner with doubts about the company's revenue growth.
But is wasn't all bad news. Retailers, which were tagged with "For Sale" signs last week, were back in vogue, after Merrill Lynch made
a Focus 1.
S&P Retail Index
ended up 27.5, or 3.13%, to 904.8, with help from the Dow retail component
. The broadline posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, which brought good news into the sector.
Paper stocks weren't getting burned either.
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index
closed up 9.42, or 3.05%, to 318.38. The index lifted after
launched a bid for
, challenging Champion's merger plans with
fell 29.09, or 2.06%, to 1383.05, while the small cap
stumbled 16.58, or 3.38%, to 474.28.
Breadth was negative on both the Big Board and Nasdaq, on very light volume.
New York Stock Exchange:
887 advancers, 2099 decliners, 977 million shares. 47 new 52-week highs, 102 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
912 advancers, 3254 decliners, 1.5 billion shares. 26 new highs, 206 new lows.