RealTime IT News

Techs, Nets Post Strong Gains

Technology and Internet stocks posted strong gains Friday in light post-holiday trading. More rulings going against the Gore campaign in Florida boosted traders' hopes that the presidential election could soon be decided.

The ISDEX surged 35 to 460, and the Nasdaq soared 148 to 2904. The S&P 500 gained 19 to 1341, and the Dow added 70 to 10,470. Volume dried up to 405 million shares on the NYSE and 804 million shares on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by 18 to 7 on the NYSE and 24 to 10 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.

Only three of 50 ISDEX stocks finished the day lower. eToys led to the upside, soaring 1/2 to 1 3/4 as the holiday shopping season began. Amazon.com rose 3 11/16 to 28 7/8 despite its site being down temporarily during the day.

About the only sector showing any weakness was cable equipment providers, which fell on news that AT&T Broadband is suspending equipment sales due to its year-end budget-balancing process. ANTEC dropped 2 1/4 to 8 3/4, Scientific Atlanta fell 2 1/4 to 49 3/16, and Commscope plummeted 5 3/4 to 18 1/8.

Internet Capital Group rose 1 31/32 to 8 1/32 after adopting a shareholder rights plan, which is triggered when someone tries to buy at least 15% of the company's stock.

Openwave recouped 12 1/8 to 64 7/16 on a W.R. Hambrecht Strong Buy rating.

i2 rose 5 3/8 to 112 despite the resignation of COO Robert Evans. Gruntal & Co. said the resignation means that the Aspect Development integration is successful. Commerce One soared 7 to 39 5/8, and Ariba bolted 10 3/8 to 78 1/2. Ariba could face resistance at 83 1/2; a close 3% above that level would be a real plus. PurchasePro soared 4 1/4 to 16 1/2.

eBenX rose 3/16 to 8 5/8 after the second-largest benefits outsourcer, CitiStreet, announced it will use eBenX Benefit Exchange services.

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

A nice recovery today, but on very light volume. We'll wait for Monday to see if it's for real. A lot of major technical damage has been done to the market, and it's not going to correct in one trading day. The Nasdaq may be forming a falling wedge here, a sign that sellers could be running out of steam. A break above that upper trendline (first chart) at about 3925-3950 could mean that the bottom is in. Again, advances out of falling wedges tend to be slow ones. It is a plus that the Nasdaq quickly recovered above the large trendline marking the start of its top two years ago (second chart).

The ISDEX ran into two trendlines today, a previous support line and a downtrend line. A break above 470 could give Net stocks room to run.

The S&P 500 broke its 1994 logarithmic trendline (first chart) at 1369 by more than 2% on Wednesday, and took out 1330 support in the process. If it can recover back above that line in the next couple of days, that would be a positive. The index is sending mixed signals in the daily chart: it is either form