RealTime IT News

Investors Get A Good Thursday

For investors, it was a great way to head into the three-day weekend.

Stocks rose again across all sectors Thursday, led by Internet and technology tickers, as internet.com's Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, gained 13.13, or 6.15%, to 226.71. Forty-three of the 50 ISDEX member stocks finished trading on the plus side.

The Nasdaq, meanwhile, finished off its best week since last summer by making a run at the 2000 mark, gaining 62.48, or 3.3%, to 1961.43. The Dow Jones advanced 113.47, or 1.1%, to 10126.94, while the S&P 500 edged up 17.61, or 1.5%, to 1183.50.

With the exception of minor, one-day stumbles by the Dow Jones and S&P 500 on Wednesday, it was a perfect week for key U.S. exchanges and indexes. Indeed, results for April as we approach its midpoint lend support to the belief that stocks, especially 'Net and tech issues, have been oversold and are bouncing back.

Here are the numbers:

                         Weekly     April
            4/12 Close  % Change  % Change

Dow Jones    10126.94     3.56%     2.51%  
Nasdaq        1961.43    14.04%     6.58%
S&P500        1183.50     5.61%     2.00%
ISDEX          226.71    28.80%    10.20%

It looks promising, but remember that April, for trading purposes, is only half over. Also, don't forget that stocks appeared to be recovering in January, when the Dow, Nasdaq, S&P and ISDEX rose. You know what happened after that.

Turning back to Internet plays, all 13 'Net sectors followed by the Internet Stock Index had more winners than losers Thursday, with nearly 70% of 'Net tickers gaining. For full sector breakdowns, visit WSRN's Internet sectors page.

Among the session's stars was high-speed router maker Juniper Networks , which finished up 17.8% to $50.38 after matching Wall Street estimates of a first-quarter net profit, excluding acquisition-related and stock-option costs, of 25 cents per share.

(For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and our reported-earnings page. For after-hours quotes and news, visit After Hours Trading.)

Also getting a big earnings boost was two-way e-mail pager purveyor Research in Motion , which soared 28.9% to $28.27 after beating Q4 estimates Wednesday with revenues of $90.1 million and net income of 11 cents per share. Analysts had expected per-share profits of 7 cents.

In its first day of trading since releasing Q1 numbers Wednesday showing a net profit of 1 cent per share, topping forecasts of break-even, search portal leader Yahoo advanced 6.9% to $16.96. Yahoo also said it was laying off 12% of its workforce.

Since tumbling below $10 per share as April got under way, shares of online e-tail king Amazon.com have been surging. AMZN closed Thursday at $14.67, a 10.1% gain. For the week, AMZN is up 75.3%.

There will be no Market Close tomorrow, as Wall Street shuts down for the Good Friday observance. Enjoy your long weekend.

To wrap up an optimistic week, here's some technical analysis from Paul Shread:

April 12, 4 p.m.: A nice looking rally, and it could have another two or three weeks to it. However, the indexes are all pretty overbought at this point and are due for a pullback in the next day or two; let's hope it's a mild one. The Nasdaq is still about 20 points from setting a higher high at 1980 (first chart), while the S&P 500 closed just under a higher high at 1183.35 (second chart). The S&P 500 also took out its highest January downtrend line (the gray line). Above 2000, the Nasdaq could face resistance at 2028 and then 2070-2100. But the index's rise over the last week has been parabolic and left a lot of gaps; not the greatest recipe for a lasting rally. The S&P faces a lot of resistance between here and 1215. Note that the S&P may be forming a small rising wedge (the black lines), suggesting a potential pullback as far as 1100. The ability to rally on a less-than-stellar earnings report and outlook from Juniper Networks is a positive; we'll see if the market still feels that way after a few more negative reports. The Dow continues to form a bearish rising wedge or bear pennant (third chart), which could mean a retest of the 9100-9400 level, and potentially a move as low as 7800-8400. Don't believe us? Look at the chart of the Nasdaq 100 from last summer (fourth chart); looks familiar, doesn't it? That said, the Dow could easily rally for another 2-3 weeks before it runs out of room inside that wedge. Hopefully the Dow can negate that pattern with a strong move to the upside. Certainly today's economic reports were weak enough to prompt an intermeeting Fed rate cut.