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Feb. 18, 2000

I post about 200 stock charts daily. About half of them are on the


and the other half on the


. Mostly out of habit I post the NYSE charts first. So you can imagine how this work session goes: during the first half I get depressed and during the second half I am impressed.

As I've said before, it appears the NYSE is in a bear market and the Nasdaq is in a bull market. However, there are some stocks on the NYSE that look more like Nasdaq stocks, but they are in the technology group. Those are stocks such as





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Texas Instruments

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. At the same time there are many technology stocks on the Nasdaq which are languishing, which is most surprising.

I don't want to spend too much time focusing on the technology laggards on the Nasdaq, because if I even mention it, my inbox will be full of emails telling me I'm too bearish. However, at the same time I think it's important to note that investors are beginning to sort through these stocks and are becoming pickier.

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In the

New Tech 30,

Red Hat





are the obvious laggards. The Red Hat chart was

discussed in this column Feb. 8 and two days ago traded down to 69 intraday. I still believe something in the 60 area will hold on this stock, so rather than look at it bearishly anymore, perhaps it might be better to say that it's a lot closer to a low than a high.

As for FreeMarkets, this chart is beginning to look like one of those failed IPOs. It is down 50% from its high, but worse, it is down more than 15% from the price it opened at on its first day of trading, which means that unless you bought this stock at the deal price, you are losing money. Should this stock make a lower low (through 160) on this trip down, it would not bode well for the chart. With no support below, it's difficult to decide where the stock might stop but we know it would not look pretty. And on the upside, with action such as we've seen in this chart, it is hard to imagine we will see 370 again anytime in the near future.

Then there are those technology stocks that have been in a correction for nearly two months now. You know which ones I'm referring to: those that made their highs during the last week of December or the first trading day of this year. I continue to watch those stocks for signs that their correction is over.

Recently I've noticed a sort of double-bottom in


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around 215, with the second test coming on about one-third the volume as the first time down. Of course it's got some resistance as it gets over 250 but at least it's showing signs of wanting to hold and rally.

I don't think Akamai's trying to hold and rally is much different than the way


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(MSFT) is trying to do the same. On negative news, the stock has not yet broken the low it made a few weeks ago. I like it when a stock reacts positively to negative news, and so far Microsoft has managed to absorb the news pretty well.

As I have said before, especially when I

discussed the



chart Feb. 1, many of these charts that are in corrections will likely sweep up and down and back and forth before they launch a new sustainable rise -- but it's not my style to reach for stocks and these stocks now seem closer to their lows than their highs.

Now, switching away from technology for a minute, how 'bout that biotech craze?

Since I've been recommending these stocks, I'm certainly not going to stand in the way of this freight train, but I would point out that my first

target on



calculated to 120 and the stock traded all the way to 128 yesterday before giving back 10 bucks. Of course 120 is not set in stone, but it seems to me the stock has just run 30% in three days, which in this market may not mean much, but I would say it's time for Biogen to digest these recent gains.

In my search for more names in this group, I have come up with



, which I mentioned in yesterday's column. Sure, it ran 10 bucks yesterday, but the target is up near 210, which is still quite a bit higher.

I don't know what's got investors clamoring for these biotech stocks as most of them will likely never earn a dime, but I suppose that money is following momentum, and right now tech and biotech are the only groups with momentum.

If only we could find more than two groups for money to chase.

Helene Meisler, based in Singapore, writes a technical analysis column on the U.S. equity markets on Tuesdays and Fridays, and updates her charts daily on Meisler trained at several Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and Cowen, and has worked with the equity trading department at Cargill. At time of publication, she was long Microsoft, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. She appreciates your feedback at