RealTime IT News

Techs, Nets Unable To Rally

Internet and technology hit new lows again on Wednesday, extending their relentless three-month sell-off.

The ISDEX slipped 3 to 405 after briefly trading below 400, and the Nasdaq lost 63 to 2671, both new 52-week lows. The S&P 500 slipped 1 to 1334, and the Dow gained 64 to 10,572. Volume rose to 485 million shares on the NYSE and 906 million on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by 13 to 12 on the NYSE, but decliners led by 22 to 13 on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our after hours trading site.

MarchFirst led the ISDEX to the upside, rising 3/8 to 1 7/16 despite issuing an earnings warning. The company said it would concentrate on its top 500 clients, and Robert W. Baird upgraded the stock and set a $4 price target.

Tut Systems plummeted 6 1/8 to 11 on a Dain Rauscher Wessels downgrade to Buy from Strong Buy, saying that a scale back by U.S. and Korean broadband carriers could hurt the firm.

Communications chip companies rebounded. Broadcom rose 4 1/8 to 89 3/16 on a Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Strong Buy rating. PMC-Sierra gained 2 1/8 to 99.

Storage companies were battered ahead of Brocade's earnings tonight. Brocade lost 9 1/2 to 151 1/2, EMC fell 6 11/16 to 72 13/16, and Emulex lost 20 5/16 to 97 11/16.

Ciena dropped 15 to 69 after Alcatel won a DWDM contract from Sprint , a Ciena customer.

Inktomi rose 1 3/8 to 25 5/8 on a Bear Stearns Buy rating, saying the sell-off in the stocks has been overdone.

B2B stocks continued their free fall. Commerce One lost 2 to major support at 29 7/16, i2 dropped 16 1/8 to 85 9/16, and Ariba fell 6 to 55 3/4. Ariba's next strong support is 49.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We are now including charts in the technical market commentary. If you can't get the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link: http://www.afterhourstrading.com/column.html

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (first chart) had a major breakdown yesterday, closing below the lower boundary (600) of a 200-point descending triangle by more than the required 2% (577). The SOX then reaffirmed that breakdown this morning when it turned back at 597. The descending triangle has been an unerringly accurate chart pattern in this sell-off, predicting huge declines in stocks like Priceline.com and Inktomi. This one gives the semis downside potential all the way to 400; not a pretty picture, and one that would likely take the Nasdaq to significantly lower lows, perhaps all the way to the 1990 logarithmic trendline at about 2400 (second chart), if not lower. A close above 625 would negate the SOX's breakdown. The Nasdaq 100 turned back at 2670 this morning, the upper boundary of its falling wedge (third chart).

The ISDEX continues to trade below its broken support line, leading us to believe that it may still have some downside ahead. Critical support on the index is 375-400. A move above 480 would be a real positive for Net stocks.

The S&P 500 has so far held its falling wedge breakout, which is around 1330 for today. How