<I>TSC 21</I> Index Eases on Retailers' Weakness - TheStreet

<I>TSC 21</I> Index Eases on Retailers' Weakness

The new index is designed to give an early read on the economy's direction.
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TheStreet.com 21 Index

declined Wednesday, giving back gains that accrued before a Dutch newspaper story about component

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

proved false.

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, a newly created index designed to be a leading indicator of the economy's direction for the rest of the year and beyond, eased 8.06 points, or 0.8%, to 1022. The move compared with a 0.6% slide in the

S&P 500

to 1002.22.

The

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and the broader market got a boost early in the session after a Dutch newspaper quoted Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers saying information technology spending would pick up in the next two to four months. That was enough to get the tech bulls running. Around midday, however, a Cisco spokeswoman said the Dutch paper,

Het Financieele Dagblad

, had lost something in the translation. Chambers was merely reiterating his long-held stance that industrywide spending will start rising about two to four months after IT customers begin to see their own businesses turning up, whenever that is.

After hitting a new 52-week high of $19.55 this morning, the networking giant's shares settled up 7 cents at $18.80.

While early news on one tech company got sorted out, the market waited for news on another big tech component of the

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,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. During the regular session, investors bid the Internet media company's shares modestly higher, up 0.5% to $35.29. After the close, the company posted earnings of 8 cents a share, in line with expectations, and raised its 2003 revenue outlook. Yahoo! shares slipped 6.1% to $33.15 in after-hours trading, according to Instinet, ahead of the company's conference call. (Wednesday's decline in the

TSC 21

doesn't reflect after-hours action.)

Among the other

TSC 21

components, the biggest gainer was tech-outsourcer

Solectron

(SLR)

, whose shares climbed 9.9% to $4.77. A host of sub-$10 chip-related stocks climbed today, in part on the Merrill Lynch upgrade of

Asyst Technologies

(ASYT)

. Solectron rival (and non-

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component)

Sanmina-SCI

(SANM) - Get Report

rose 5.35% today.

Some of the retailers proved a drag on the

TSC 21

Wednesday.

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

slid $1.82, or 3.85%, to $45.50, one day after the consumer-electronics retailer hit a 52-week high. Elsewhere,

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

fell 1.6% to $54. Morgan Stanley trimmed its second-quarter earnings estimate on the department store giant by 3 cents a share to 38 cents to reflect flat same-store sales for May and possibly negative same store sales for June.

In

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corporate news,

Maytag

(MYG)

plucked George Moore from Danaher to be its new chief financial officer. Moore replaces Steven Wood, who left the company "to pursue other opportunities." Maytag eased 0.6% to $25.42; the news was announced after the closing bell.

The index was assigned an opening value of 1000, based on the closing prices of the 21 components' share prices on July 3. It is up 2.2% since its creation.

We've selected 21 companies that are extraordinarily suited to serve as a reality check for the rally. The 21 companies represent a diverse range of industries, but unlike indices designed to represent the broader market, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500, TheStreet.com 21 doesn't represent every sector of the economy. Our goal in choosing TheStreet.com 21 was to select stocks that were hypersensitive to the times. If the economic landscape truly has improved, TheStreet.com 21 should reflect it first, and rise accordingly. If the economy is stalling, the index will decline -- a harbinger of bad news to come. Click here to read more about the index and click here to view the entire chart of TheStreet.com 21 components, including the reasons for their inclusion.

What do you think about TheStreet.com 21 index? Email us at twocents@thestreet.com