Dell Meets Estimates, But NVIDIA Reveals SEC Investigation

Dell matched estimates and reaffirmed guidance after the close on Thursday, but NVIDIA fell after hours after revealing an SEC investigation into the company’s accounting practices. Stocks were mixed during the day.

The ISDEX fell 2 to 159, and the Nasdaq lost 15 to 1843. The S&P 500 gave back 2 to 1116, and the Dow gained 12 to 10,001. Volume rose to 1.26 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.67 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 16 to 14 on the NYSE, and 21 to 13 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Dell climbed slightly after providing no surprises, but NVIDIA fell 8% on news that the SEC is looking into the company’s recording of certain reserves and expenses. NVDA also blew away estimates and raised forward guidance. Also after the close, SunGard beat estimates, Analog Devices matched estimates, and Intel said in response to rumors that its guidance hasn’t changed and it will update investors March 7.

During the day, Hewlett-Packard slipped despite beating estimates, and Brocade fell 7% after meeting estimates.

Juniper Networks plunged 16% on reports that the company is losing market share to Cisco .

Qwest fell yet again after getting shut out of the credit markets.

BEA rose 5% on rumors of a contract win.

Broadcom fell 8% on concern about competition from Intel .

Some technical comments on the market: Note: To see the charts in the text email newsletter, click on the story link at the top of the newsletter.

The Nasdaq (first chart) broke its early January downtrend today – but then fell back into it by the close. That kind of breakout failure is usually bearish. That line looks to be at about 1855 for tomorrow; if it can get through that, the index has a chance. 1834 is important support, and then 1815. That index looks like it could easily see 1720 on the next leg down. One bearish development today was another negative divergence in the VXN (second chart), the Nasdaq options volatility index. A lower low in the VXN without a higher high in the Nasdaq is a sure sign of complacency. The Dow (third chart) cleared a lot of resistance today, only to fall back inside by the close, and seems to be forming a bearish rising wedge. 10,040 looks like tough resistance for tomorrow, with 10,075 and 10,120-10,130 above that. First support is 9959-9970, and 9906-9940 is below that. The S&P 500 (fourth chart) needs to open unchanged tomorrow to avoid breaking one small trendline. 1112 and 1098 are support, and 1125-1128 is resistance. The S&P 100 (fifth chart) continues to look like a potential head and shoulders top, with 574 resistance, and critical support just under 550.

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