Dell Continues A Pattern

Dell continued a recent pattern Friday when it rallied after being sold off the night before by traders disappointed that the company didn’t show stronger growth in its earnings results.

Comments by Michael Dell that corporate optimism is increasing helped boost the stock, which gained 3% on the day after opening down.

Dell’s earnings of 24 cents a share met analyst estimates, and revenues of $9.78 billion came in ahead of $9.75 billion forecasts. Dell said it expects third-quarter earnings to be 26 cents, in line with estimates, and projected revenues of $10.5 billion topped $10.3 billion forecasts.

Trading was extremely light after Thursday’s massive power outages that hit the northeast and Canada, but traders were relieved that terrorism wasn’t behind the massive power grid failure. Economic reports were mixed, with consumer prices tame, but New York State manufacturing weaker than expected.

The Nasdaq added 1 to 1702, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 990, and the Dow climbed 11 to 9321. Volume plunged 50%, to 562 million shares on the NYSE and 703 million on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-13 on the NYSE, and by a single stock on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 54% on the NYSE, and 41% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 142-23 on the NYSE, and 146-6 on the Nasdaq.

Looksmart plunged after the company reported in an SEC filing that Microsoft is beta testing a search engine that doesn’t include Looksmart results. The news dampened speculation that MSN may acquire Looksmart.

Advanced Digital , Open Text , ScanSource and Wind River surged after beating estimates. Analog Devices declined on valuation concerns after topping estimates, and BEA Systems slipped on its results.

Microsoft declined as the company readied for a planned denial-of-service attack.

Verizon finished unchanged after reporting that its networks were holding up under heavy power outage-related use.

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