Despite the market's ability to turn many of its early-morning losses into gains, few sectors were moving with conviction to the upside or downside.
Investors were finding some defensives, as well as computer hardware makers and chipmakers, appealing. Helped by
and other computer hardware makers, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
was rising 0.7%. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was adding 1.7%.
All was not happy in tech land, however.
already hit a 52-week low of $14.75 on news that one of its suppliers
cutting its first-quarter earnings estimates -- in part due to weakness in its major customer's business. Sun lately had bounced off its lows, but was still off 6% to $14.91. JNI had also visited 52-week lows, but was now down 13% to $7.94.
To be sure, investors weren't completely convinced tech was safe again, and those views were giving a lift to pharmaceuticals and tobacco. No matter how hard the times, people still need drugs and they tend to buy tobacco. The
American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index
was edging up 0.6%. The
American Stock Exchange Tobacco Index
was 1.4% higher.
Earlier today, drug maker
said it would form an independent company with software behemoth
and PC maker
to develop software and services for doctors' practices and medical information. Pfizer, Microsoft and IBM were all higher in recent trading.
Energy stocks continued their slide that started at the beginning of the week, with the
American Stock Exchange Natural Gas Index
down 2% and the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index