Dell Earnings Rattle Investors

Disappointing earnings and guidance from Dell Computer sent stocks lower on Friday, and uncertainty over the outcome of the presidential election continued to hang over the market.

The ISDEX dropped 15 to 565, and the Nasdaq fell 116 to 3083. The S&P 500 lost 20 to 1379, and the Dow dropped 148 to 10,685. Volume declined to 440 million shares on the NYSE and 820 million shares on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by 17 to 8 on the NYSE and 26 to 8 on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our after hours trading site.

Traders’ screens weren’t all red. Ariba found support just under 100 and rose 2 3/8 to 105 1/2. Broadcom rose 2 1/2 to 164 15/16 a day after affirming analysts’ estimates. E.piphany climbed 1 5/8 to 79, and Sycamore added 1 3/16 to 63 1/8.

Active Voice soared 4 1/8 to 19 1/16 on news that it will be acquired by Cisco Systems , which lost 1 7/16 to 51 13/16. Cisco will take a 2-cent charge on the deal.

The IPO of optical equipment company Luminent priced at $12, below the $13-$15 range, and slipped to 11 5/8.

Safeguard Scientifics lost 1 1/2 to 14 5/16 on a Robert W. Baird downgrade to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Juniper Networks continued to struggle, off 4 1/8 to 175 1/2. A close of 174 or lower would break a broadening top on the stock, as previously noted, with downside potential to 120.

America Online lost 1.54 to 51.14 after the Federal Trade Commission delayed a vote on the company’s merger with Time Warner by three weeks. The company and the FTC continue to disagree over cable network access issues.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We are now including charts in the technical market commentary. If you can’t get the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link:

It may seem odd on another day of triple-digit losses, but we’re going to sound a hopeful note here. The Nasdaq 100 may be forming a falling wedge here, with four touches on the lower line. The apex of that wedge is some time away, in late December or early January, but the bottom could arrive some time around late November, the two-thirds point. The Nasdaq 100 could go as low as 2850 during that time, and is likely to rise slowly once the bottom is in, but a hopeful sign nonetheless.

The S&P 500 held its 1994 logarithmic trendline at 1369 yesterday. We will set that as critical support on the index. We do not want to close below that line by more than 2%, or 1335.

The ISDEX is so far holding 560 support, its fifth test of that line. The index also could be forming a broadening bottom; another touch of that lower line around 525 would not be out of the question. 500 should be strong support.

The Dow broke down out of a 250-point trading range today after failing at 11,000 repeatedly. That could carry the index to about 10,500.

Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns and an overview of this year’s action in the stock market, visit


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