RealTime IT News

Priceline Profitable

Seven months after being given up for dead, Priceline.com reported its first quarter of profitability after the close on Tuesday. Stocks rose during the day on end-of-the-month buying.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ gained 1 to 204, and the Nasdaq climbed 9 to 2027. The S&P 500 rose 6 to 1211, and the Dow surged 121 to 10,522. Volume rose to 1.14 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.61 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18 to 12 on the NYSE, and 19 to 18 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.

After the close, Priceline surged after reporting pro forma earnings of 5 cents a share, 4 cents better than estimates, and GAAP earnings of 1 cent a share. The stock is up 800% off its December low. Register.com gave back a little after the close despite beating estimates by 2 cents with 13-cent earnings. S1 beat estimates and maintained guidance, and KLA-Tencor slipped modestly on its earnings report.

During the day, Expedia rose .20 to 48.34 after beating estimates and raising forward guidance. FreeMarkets rose .82 to 19.77 after topping loss estimates. But Mercury Computer plunged 17.45 to 31.30 on an earnings warning.

Dell Computer lost .36 to 27.10 after Merrill Lynch cut estimates on the company.

Optical Communications dropped 1.68 to 7.05 on a weak outlook.

Globespan , up 1.93 to 15.93, boosted chip stocks with its positive conference call.

iXL and Scient agreed to merge.

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

GE still looks weak, Microsoft doesn't look so great either, and the semiconductor stocks that have been leading the market higher are getting overbought enough so they could begin a pullback in a day or two, with the rest of the market not far behind. The performance of the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 today were mixed at best. The Nasdaq (first chart) remains above one downtrend line at about 2010, but was unable to make an assault on its main downtrend line at about 2075. The Nasdaq 100 (second chart) broke its main downtrend line, but nearly closed the day back underneath it. Both indexes finished well off their highs, another disappointing development, and could be forming bearish rising wedges or pennants in the intraday charts, meaning another test of those lower trendlines is not out of the question (just under 1900 on the Nasdaq). The S&P 500 cleared the closest rendering of its rounding top at 1209, but turned back near its recent high of 1225. As we've said before, that rounding top could be drawn more accurately to make the boundary around 1280. In the third chart, note how the S&P also pulled back under a downtrend line today, but managed to close above it. The Dow managed to negate yesterday's bear flag today (fourth chart), but got nervous at its main downtrend line around 10,550 (fifth chart) and 10,600 resistance. The 10,430-10,475 range should now be support. A lot of itchy trigger fingers out there.

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.