RealTime IT News

Stocks Climb Ahead Of Fed Decision

Stocks headed higher ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates due out at 2:15 p.m. Analysts widely expect the Fed to leave rates unchanged, and a few are even saying that the Fed could change its tightening bias to neutral.

The ISDEX gained 1 to 723, and the Nasdaq rose 10 to 3578. The S&P 500 climbed 10 to 1447, and the Dow soared 110 to 10,810. Volume rose to 470 million shares on the NYSE and 840 million on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by 14 to 11 on the NYSE, but decliners led 19 to 15 on the Nasdaq. The big economic report for the week is Friday's unemployment report. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our new after hours trading site.

B2B stocks, one of the few pockets of strength in the Internet sector the last few months, continued to fall victim to profit-taking. i2 Technologies , off 15 7/8 to 154, continued to fall on yesterday's revelations that the company's head of technology sales is leaving to join a private B2B exchange, and that the trading exchange formed by i2, Ariba , off 6 1/16 to 121, and IBM lost The Global Health Care Exchange as a customer. Commerce One dropped 6 7/8 to 65 11/16 on a Jefferies downgrade to Hold from Accumulate.

Primus Knowledge Systems plummeted 6 to 4 7/8 after warning that its revenues will not meet estimates, citing delays in closing a half-dozen transactions. V-ONE , down 9/16 to 1 7/8, also warned.

NetCreations fell 3/8 to 11 despite being acquired by DoubleClick for about $12.15 a share in a stock deal. DoubleClick fell 2 1/16 to 27 9/16. Fellow e-mail marketer Netcentives gained 1 3/4 to 10 3/4.

Internet infrastructure plays returned to the forefront. Avici soared 10 5/8 to 91 on news of an alliance with Qwest . Nortel gained 2 5/16 to 64 11/16 on a 10-year, $1.4 billion contract with Cable & Wireless. Bellwether Cisco Systems recovered 2 7/8 to 58 3/8.

Yahoo finally rallied, gaining 4 1/16 to 90 1/8. The company reports next Tuesday.

China.com slipped 3/8 to 11 15/16 despite announcing that it expects to meet estimates for the third quarter.

Netopia rose 1 11/16 to 11 1/2 on a Kaufman Brothers Strong Buy rating. Interwave climbed 1 7/16 to 9 3/16 on a Salomon Smith Barney Buy rating and $65 price target.

Corel soared 2 1/2 to 6 3/16 after announcing an alliance with Microsoft's .Net initiative.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We will now be including charts with the technical market commentary; just click on the links in the story below to go to them. If you have trouble accessing the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link: http://www.afterhourstrading.com/column.html

A day after breaking critical support, the October 1998 trendline (the black line), the Nasdaq doesn't look too bad. As we said yesterday, if the Nasdaq can form a new October 1998 trendline at about 3400-3450 (the gray line), on a line with the October 1998 low and the May low, the index could still put in a bottom here. Lower than that, and the index will likely retest the May lows of 3042. One positive (and it's a little early still to point this out), the Nasdaq may be forming a falling wedge