RealTime IT News

Small Surprise: Consumers Lack Confidence

The anticipated Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index set a dour mood for the markets early this morning but after spending most of the day sharply down, the major indices recovered in the late afternoon.

By mid-day, the Dow was down 170 points, testing the 8200 level before bouncing. It rose in the final two hours to close almost exactly where it started, at 8369.

The Nasdaq dipped below 1290 in early morning trading where it spent much of the day until a final hour recovery. It closed at 1300, a loss of 1.1 percent.

Techs did not do well. Cisco was hit with downgrades on concerns that recent price cuts will erode margins. Cisco lost 2.7% on volume of 104 million shares, making it the day's most active stock.

Two of yesterday's winners gave back much of it today. Applied Material was down 5% and Intel shed 2.4%. IBM held onto yesterday's gains and added another 0.2%.

An Internet stock was one of the day's biggest percentage winners. SOHU , the Chinese Web portal, reported a few days ago that sales were above forecast and that it had acheived profitability earlier than expected. It rose $0.81 to 3.56, a gain of 29% on heavy volume.

After the bell, U.S.-based Internet financial publisher Hoovers said it grew revenues five percent for the quarter compared to last year and was reporting a profit of $.03/share compared to a loss of $0.30 per share in the same period last year.

Note: Paul Shread's technical commentary will return Wednesday.