RealTime IT News

Ma Bell Makes A Comeback Attempt

AT&T has yet another plan to revitalize itself.

This time, it's Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

AT&T has been squeezed in recent years by low-cost competition and the entry of the Baby Bells into the long distance market.

While AT&T faces tough competition in the new endeavor - Baby Bells, cable companies and a host of smaller players have all announced VoIP plans - Ma Bell does have a couple of advantages: name recognition and its own IP-based network.

It may just be the idea that could reverse the telecom giant's sagging fortunes.

The broader market surged on Thursday, giving the Dow its first close above 10,000 since May 2002. Better than expected retail sales provided an early boost, and in the afternoon, Federal Reserve meeting minutes that said inflation is expected to remain tame for "the next year or two" sent the Dow over 10,000. Traders shook off an early dip on worse than expected jobless claims.

The Nasdaq surged 37 to 1942, the S&P 500 rose 12 to 1071, and the Dow gained 86 to 10,008. Volume rose to 1.44 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 1.8 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 24-7 on the NYSE, and 23-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 87% on the NYSE, and 88% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 262-13 on the NYSE, and 135-24 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Adobe rose after beating estimates.

During the day, RedHat and Akamai gained 8% each on deals with IBM .

Ciena fell 2% on weaker than expected guidance.

Atmel and TriQuint surged after raising guidance, while Net2Phone slipped despite beating estimates.

Unisys tumbled 9% on pension concerns.

Brocade gained 5% on a Merrill Lynch upgrade.

University of Phoenix Online climbed 3% on positive analyst comments ahead of earnings next week.

Sonic Solutions and Ameritrade rose on takeover rumors.

Looksmart tacked on 4% on massive layoffs.

Microstrategy rose 5% as the company launched a legal offensive.

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