RealTime IT News

Stocks Plunge Once Again

Stocks plunged Monday ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting and Cisco's earnings on Tuesday.

Continued economic and earnings weakness continued to weigh on the market, and comments by Warren Buffett that a nuclear terrorist attack on U.S. soil is all but inevitable at some point also unnerved investors.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ fell 4 to 116, and the Nasdaq lost 34 to 1578. The S&P 500 dropped 20 to 1052, and the Dow plunged 198 to 9808. Volume declined to 1.12 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.77 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 21 to 10 on the NYSE, and 23 to 11 on the Nasdaq.

Intel didn't help the mood after Reuters quoted CEO Craig Barrett as saying, "I know we've seen relatively strong announcements of GDP growth in the United States, but as far as I can tell, that hasn't translated into corporate profitability or corporate IT investment growth."

IBM plunged 7% to a new 52-week low. Sun Microsystems and Juniper Networks also hit new 52-week lows.

Cisco lost 2.4% ahead of its earnings report after the close on Tuesday. Microsoft closed a point above its September low.

Drugstore.com soared 25% on heavy buying by insiders and venture capitalists.

Synopsis surged 10% on a positive preannouncement. BMC gained 2% on better than expected results.

Nokia fell 3% on a downgrade.

EarthLink lost 11% after President Mike McQuary resigned for personal reasons. Peregrine continued to implode on news of an accounting investigation and the resignation of the company's CEO and CFO.

Autodesk fell 18% on a warning.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: To see the charts in the text email newsletter, click on the internetstockreport.com story link at the top of the newsletter.

Despite the oversold nature of the market here, any bounce that begins in the next day or two may not get very far. The problem is that the Nasdaq (first chart below) and Nasdaq 100 (second chart) formed a reliable bearish candlestick pattern called "three black crows" over the last three days. That means that selling should resume after a bounce, and that bounce is unlikely to go much higher than 3% or so, the middle of the last three bearish candlesticks. Upside should be capped at about 1640 (first resistance is 1613-1628), and the index would have to clear 1673-1696 to turn bullish. On the other hand, a quick 60-point sell-off would meet the minimum downside requirement of the three black crows. 1507-1528 is critical support on the Nasdaq (the September 1387 low is next), and 1120 is the Nasdaq 100's last shot at support above the 1088 September low. The S&P 500 (third chart) closed right at the critical level of 1052-1054. Next support is 1030, then 1010-1020 and 994. 1030 is pretty critical, the 61.8% retracement of the September low. Resistance is 1064, 1074, 1085 and 1100, a critical level. The Dow (sixth chart) has support at 9750, and 9500-9600 (9432 is extremely critical), and resistance at 9921, 10,000 and 10,050 (a critical resistance level).

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Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns, visit http://www.internetstockreport.com/guest/article/0,1785,2571_500051,00.html.