IBM’s Good News No Help For Stocks

IBM (NYSE: IBM) had good news for the stock market on Thursday, but the good feeling lasted all of about half an hour.

IBM said in an SEC filing Thursday morning that it is on track to meet full-year profit forecasts thanks to strong services and software sales. The news sent IBM shares 3.6% higher on the day, but the rest of the market peaked shortly after IBM’s announcement and spent the rest of the day selling off, turning gains of nearly 2% into losses that were just as big by the close.

After the close, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) reported a much bigger than expected decline in quarterly sales, news that followed a similar miss from HP (NYSE: HPQ) last week. But Dell’s shares gained 5% after hours because the company’s profit beat estimates due to cost-cutting measures.

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) joined IBM on the upside in Thursday’s trading session, rising 4% on its reorganization plans. (NYSE: CRM) edged higher on its better than expected results.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) and Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) were two of the Nasdaq’s stronger names, while Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) and Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) led the way lower.

Comments from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) that business is becoming more predictable appeared to help the chip sector, even as analysts issued mixed outlooks on the industry.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) lost 4% on reports that it could enter the notebook market.

In the broader market, healthcare shares were weak and bank stocks strong as traders weighed the Obama administration’s spending plans.

The Nasdaq lost 34 to 1391, the S&P 500 fell 12 to 752, and the Dow lost 88 to 7182. Volume declined to 7.68 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.38 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 21-16 margin on the NYSE, and 16-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 56% on the NYSE, and 74% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 3-233 on the NYSE, and 0-229 on the Nasdaq.

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