Bears Again In Control

For the second straight day, technology and Internet shares rallied, only to fall in the final hour of trading. But the Dow managed a gain on news that Chase Manhattan is expected to acquire JP Morgan.

The ISDEX fell 6 to 765 after trading as high as 789, while the Nasdaq fell 46 to 3849, more than 100 points off its high. The S&P 500 dropped 5 to 1481, but the Dow added 37 to 11,233. Volume rose to 980 million shares on the NYSE and 1.59 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a fraction on the NYSE and by 22 to 17 on the Nasdaq. Oracle and Red Hat report earnings on Thursday. The PPI for August will be reported on Thursday and the CPI on Friday. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our new after hours trading site.

Cisco Systems led to the downside, falling 2 1/2 to 58 11/16, a day after breaking its May uptrend line and closing below its 200-day moving average. Telecom equipment stocks have been weak on concerns that spending may be slowing. Nortel fell 4 3/16 to 63 13/16.

JDS Uniphase dropped 6 9/16 to 103 3/16 on reports that its merger with SDL may be in trouble.

NetCreations plummeted 8 49/64 to 12 3/32 after warning that third-quarter earnings will come in at 4-6 cents per share instead of the 11-cent earnings analysts expected.

DoubleClick gained 4 1/8 to 37 7/8 a day after a positive analyst meeting. Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget said he is comfortable with his estimates for the company and expects the stock to perform well for the rest of the year.

Bear Stearns made positive comments about InfoSpace , up 7/8 to 41 3/16, About.com , up 2 3/8 to 38, and Amazon.com , up 3/8 to 42 3/4.

Lionbridge Technologies gained 1 1/4 to 8 1/2 after the company said it expects to meet third quarter estimates, “excluding the effect of the Euro.”

Diamond Technology Partners rose 2 1/16 to 73 9/16 on a Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Top Pick rating and $100 price target. DLJ was bullish on DTPI’s definitive agreement to merge with Cluster Consulting.

AskJeeves gained 3/8 to 26 1/4 after announcing the creation of AskJeeves Japan.

SpeechWorks , down big yesterday on valuation concerns, fell 3 3/8 to 61 1/4 despite partnerships with Palm and General Magic , which gained 5/32 to 7 5/8.

StarMedia tacked on 1 1/16 to 11 13/16 after announcing a Latin American wireless Internet alliance with Compaq.

B2B stocks were mixed after a strong recent run. FreeMarkets slipped 3 to 74 1/2 after trading as high as 82 on news of an alliance with Microsoft. Ariba fell 5 1/16 to 148 31/64 despite a deal with Blue Martini , off 4 5/8 to 47 7/8. i2 rose 3 to 161 1/8, but Commerce One lost 6 to 69 1/8, back below the $70 breakout level, and PurchasePro gave back 8 15/16 to 60 11/16 after trading as high as 73.

Yahoo added 21/32 to 106 31/32 on a Bear Stearns Buy rating and $160 price target. The firm believes Yahoo’s long-term returns will outperform the broad market indexes.

Ventro rose 9/16 to 17 1/4 on news of a foodservice industry distribution venture.

Allaire fell another 2 7/8 to 20 5/16, continuing to slide despite positive analyst comments. Company officials said they new of no reason to account for the two-week slide from $38.

Some technical comments on the market: The Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 fell back below their downtrend lines from March that were broken last month (3900 on the Nasdaq, 3700 on the Nasdaq 100), and the move came on rising volume. Critical support is next, the May uptrend lines at 3750 on the Nasdaq and 3600 on the Nasdaq 100; a break of those levels would likely send the indexes back to their May lows. So far, earnings warning season hasn’t delivered any huge surprises, so barring a warning from a market leader, the May uptrend lines should hold. However, technology and Internet leader Cisco broke its May uptrend line yesterday; is it a sign that the Nasdaq will follow? To the upside, the Nasdaq faces resistance at the old downtrend line (3900), then the 3950-4000 area, and then again at 4100.

We noted last night that the Dow and S&P 500 finished just below support at 11,200 and 1490, respectively, suggesting that the blue chips could be in for further weakness. The Dow sold off sharply this morning, but found support around 11,100 and rebounded on the JP Morgan rumors to close back above 11,200 resistance. However, any buyout premium may now be built into JP Morgan’s stock, which has been holding up the Dow, and the Dow may be forming a head-and-shoulders top here. Support can be found every 100 points on the Dow, but critical support is around 10,850, the upper boundary of the Dow’s bearish diamond pattern, which the index broke out of last month. To the upside, resistance on the Dow is 11,300 and 11,400. The S&P 500 tested 1480 support today; if it breaks, the next support is likely 1460. To the upside, the S&P faces resistance at 1490, 1500 and 1507. The ISDEX closed below 790-800 support yesterday, which now becomes resistance again. Critical support on the ISDEX is just above 700, which is now the intersection of the index’s March downtrend and May uptrend lines. To the upside, the ISDEX’s recent rally was capped by the 50% retracement level of 850.

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