A dramatic coordinated interest rate cut by global central banks failed to halt the stocks market’s six-day slide on Wednesday, but at least the losses were less than the previous few days.
The Nasdaq ended the day down 0.8%, the S&P 500 down 1.1% and the Dow down 2%. In the last six trading sessions, the Dow and S&P have lost about 15% each and the Nasdaq 16%, as traders have fled from stocks as credit markets have seized up, threatening global economic growth.
More than half of all NYSE-listed stocks ended the day at new 52-week lows for the second time this week, the first such occurrence since the crash of 1987 and only the second since 1970.
But selling wasn’t as widespread as it’s been in recent days, and a few names, like eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), BMC (NYSE: BMC), Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS), Foundry (NASDAQ: FDRY) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) ended the day with gains of 3% or more.
RIM gained on a new smartphone, news that boosted Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) shares too. eBay benefited from an American Technology Research upgrade; the company will report results Oct. 15. BMC and Citrix climbed on JP Morgan upgrades.
Foundry rose on optimism that Brocade’s (NASDAQ: BRCD) deal to buy the company will go through after Brocade secured financing for the deal.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) fell 5% on jitters ahead of its Oct. 16 earnings report — then gained it all back after the close after the company said it expects to beat earnings estimates. Earnings of $2.05 were three cents ahead of the Thomson Financial consensus forecast, but IBM’s preliminary sales of $25.3 billion were below $26.5 billion estimates. Still, it was very good news for a stock that has fallen more than 30% in recent weeks on worries about its results. IBM also said it expects to meet full-year earnings forecasts.
AMD (NYSE: AMD) lost 12% on worries about its dramatic restructuring.
Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) fell 5.6% to a five-year low on analyst comments about display advertising weakness.
The Nasdaq lost 14 to 1740, the S&P fell 11 to 985, and the Dow fell 189 to 9258. Volume rose to 8.92 billion shares on the NYSE, and 3.57 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 27-8 margin on the NYSE, and 21-8 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 66% on the NYSE, and 66% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 13-2041 on the NYSE, and 6-1185 on the Nasdaq.