RealTime IT News

Stocks Surge On GDP Report

Stocks surged Friday on news that the economy grew at a stronger than expected rate in the first quarter.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ added 7 to 246, and the Nasdaq climbed 40 to 2075. The S&P 500 rose 18 to 1253, and the Dow surged 117 to 10,810. Volume dropped to 1.09 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.79 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 20 to 10 on the NYSE, and 24 to 14 on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar at http://www.wsrn.com/apps/earnings/internet.xpl and reported earnings at http://www.wsrn.com/apps/earnings/ireported.xpl. For after hours quotes and news, visit our after hours trading site at http://www.afterhourstrading.com.

First quarter GDP came in at 2%, twice the growth rate that analysts expected. However, business investment grew at only 1.1%, raising concern that the GDP number may be revised downward in subsequent reports.

VeriSign soared 5.68 to 51.90 on blow-out earnings of 23 cents a share, 10 cents a head of estimates. Corning slipped .40 to 20.60 after beating estimates by a penny with 29-cent earnings, but lowering forward estimates.

Art Technology , up .81 to 8.70, and Exodus , off .13 to 8.90, beat estimates. VA Linux , down .15 to 2.88, issued an earnings warning.

barnesandnoble.com , up .32 to 2.38, and Storage Technology , up .83 to 12.19, topped estimates, while VerticalNet , off .15 to 1.83, NetIQ , down .22 to 29.57, Vignette , down .27 to 6.60, and Corvis , off 1.43 to 6.46, reported in-line results. Analysts were concerned about Corvis's pace of contract wins.

Microsoft fell 1.79 to 67.34 on reports that the company is delaying release of its Windows XP operating system to as late as January.

E-consultants rose on IBM's takeover of Proxicom , which soared 1.32 to 5.65. Sapient rose .40 to 13.06, Viant climbed .35 to 2.40, and Scient added .08 to 1.41.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We include 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 Nasdaq (first chart) broke out of a symmetrical triangle toward the close today, and could be headed back to the 2200 area. We'll see how much follow-through is left in the index on Monday. However, the market continues to have an undercurrent of weakness to it that indicates it could be due for a pullback soon. The Dow and S&P 500 (second and third charts) are both rising along the underside of their broken uptrends, while the Nasdaq hasn't even come close to touching its broken uptrend line. The last two trading days of the month and first day of the new month tend to be positive ones for the market, so the market could be okay until Wednesday or so. First support on the Nasdaq is 2000, the top of a breakout gap, and critical support is the 1950 level, where the index broke out recently. A move above the 2250-2300 area would be bullish, but a failure below that level would be bearish. The S&P 500 has a breakout gap at 1200, and critical support is 1182-1184. The 1250 area has been tough resistance, so the S&P's close above that number today is a plus; however, today's 1253 close is just below the January low of 1254. A move above 1300 would be bullish, but a failure below that level would be bearish. The Dow is approaching the important 10,859 level, where its steep sell-off began. A close above that level would be another point in the bulls' favor. The 10,600 level is important support, then 10,450.

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