RealTime IT News

Stocks Down Modestly On Attacks

Stocks pulled back on lower volume on Monday, as U.S.-led attacks on Taliban and terrorist targets in Afghanistan entered their second day.

News that the FBI was investigating a second anthrax case in Florida also weighed on stocks.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ was unchanged at 128, and the Nasdaq was unchanged at 1605. The S&P 500 lost 8 to 1062, and the Dow gave back 51 to 9067. Volume declined to 976 million shares on the NYSE, and 1.41 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 18 to 11 on the NYSE, and 19 to 15 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.

Domestic security stocks continued to find favor with investors. Visionics and Viisage surged on positive mention in the New York Times.

USsearch.com soared .85 to 1.60 after announcing services to perform background checks on airline and transportation employees.

AOL , off 2.06 to 31.75, continued to get hit on advertising worries.

Comverse fell 1.20 to 18.78 on rumors that the company could lose a contract with AT&T Wireless .

Symantec soared 9% and carried other network security stocks with it after reaffirming its full-year outlook.

Earthlink rose 1.05 to 17.54 on a Salomon Smith Barney Buy rating.

Hotel Reservations Network rose 1.35 to 31.80, continuing to gain on news that bookings are back near pre-attack levels.

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 Dow (first chart) followed the S&P (second chart) in a breakdown and backtest of a bearish rising wedge today. Taken literally, those breakdowns call for a full retest of the September 21 lows, and possibly lower lows, but downside volume needs to pick up to confirm the break. On the Dow, first strong support is 8850-8895, and critical support is 8672-8686. A move above 9187 could mean the rally has further to go. For the S&P, support can be found at 1041-1052, and critical support is 1017-1020. A move below 1016 would call the rally into question, and below 998 would likely lead to a full retest of the lows. A move above 1072 and then 1084 would mean that the rally is not done. Today's high in the S&P was 1071. The Nasdaq (third chart) looks like it wants to roll over, but a nice breakout in the semiconductor index (fourth chart) could give the Nasdaq some more upside. That's a good sign because the economically sensitive semis tend to lead the Nasdaq. A break above 1621 could lead to 1641 and then 1670. First support is 1580, then 1550 and 1530, which is critical support. For the old economy stocks, however, all the leading sectors look bearish: the banking stocks (fifth chart), cyclicals (sixth chart), Transports (seventh chart) have all formed or broken down out of bearish rising wedges. Not a good sign.

Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns and an overview of last year's action in the stock market, visit http://www.internetstockreport.com/guest/article/0,1785,2571_500051,00.html.