Dell Tops Estimates

Dell topped earnings and revenue estimates after the close on Thursday, but traders greeted the news with a shrug.

Blue chips rose during the day on better than expected unemployment claims and a looming oil price war, but techs drifted lower on a dismal outlook from Applied Materials.

The ISDEX slipped fractionally to 176, and the Nasdaq lost 2 to 1900. The S&P 500 rose 1 to 1142, and the Dow added 48 to 9872. Volume rose to 1.46 billion shares on the NYSE, but slipped to 2.01 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 16 to 14 on the NYSE, and 19 to 17 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Dell beat earnings and revenue estimates, but its forward guidance could be construed as a slight revenue warning, and the company said the market could remain weak through mid-2002. The stock traded fractionally lower after hours. Also after the close, Intuit and Serena topped estimates.

The consumer price index is expected to show a rare decline tomorrow morning. Industrial production and capacity utilization will also be reported.

During the day, Applied Materials fell 1.62 to 39.09 after missing earnings estimates but topping revenue estimates. The company warned for next quarter, and said it expects capital spending to fall 30% in 2002, which would be bad news for semi equipment companies. Novellus and Intel fell on the news.

Aether and Agile fell on their earnings reports.

i2 climbed .17 to 7.06 on rumors of a contract win from Hewlett-Packard .

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:

A double top in the Nasdaq? The Nasdaq (first chart) was turned back at 1922 for the second straight day, just under the critical 1934 level. A break of either 1922 or 1882 could determine near-term direction. The index formed another doji today, this one an inside day from yesterday. Can’t get more undecided than that. Tomorrow is a potential cycle turn date, with several cycles clustering here. The Nasdaq also has support at 1867-1875, 1855, and 1840, and resistance is 1934-1940. The Dow (second chart) remains above the upper trendline of a potential broadening top. However, it also was turned back at 9903, just below the 50% retracement point (9906) from its all-time high. A break of 9906 could carry the index north of 10,000, to the critical 10,093-10,120 area. First support is 9800-9820, and then 9700. The S&P (third chart) has so far been capped by resistance at 1145-1155 (today’s high was 1146), and next resistance is 1164-1173. Support is 1132-1135, and then 1120-1126. An inside doji on that index too. Tomorrow could be an interesting day.

Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns and an overview of last year’s action in the stock market, visit,1785,2571_500051,00.html.

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