Investor Ebullience Extends

Elation over Wednesday’s surprise interest rate cut carried into Thursday’s trading session, as Internet and tech stocks soared on renewed investor optimism about the economy.

Barely missing its second straight day of double-digit percent gains,’s Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, rose 22.32, or 9.2%, to finish at 266.02. Forty-four of the 50 ISDEX members were up Thursday. In the past two days of trading, the ISDEX has rocketed north by 20.4%.

The Nasdaq gained 102.7, or 4.9%, to close Thursday at 2182.14, while the Dow Jones posted a more modest advance of 77.75, or 0.7%, to 10693.58. The S&P 500 ended up 15.52, or 1.3%, to 1253.68.

All 13 Internet sectors tracked by the Internet Stock Report and WSRN once again had more winners than losers. For full sector breakdowns, visit WSRN’s Internet sectors page.

One high-profile tech gainer was IBM , which climbed 7.5% to $114.47 after its Q1 report released late Wednesday showed Big Blue’s earnings meeting Wall Street estimates, while revenue exceeded forecasts.

(For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and our reported-earnings page.
For after-hours quotes and news, visit After Hours Trading.)

Oracle rose 13.4% to $20.32 after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded shares of the database vendor to “outperform” from “neutral.”

Sun Microsystems surged 11.5% to $20.71 after the server maker reported fiscal third-quarter net income of 8 cents per share, edging consensus EPS estimates of 7 cents.

Leading all Internet gainers was e-business consultant Proxicom , which soared 82.3% to $3.30, bouncing off Wednesday’s all-time closing low of $1.81. PXCM was one of the few losers on Wednesday.

Now for some technical analysis from Paul Shread:

April 19, 4 p.m.: A smart move by the Fed, cutting rates in a rising
market instead of a falling one. It seems to be working so far, but
tomorrow is options expiration, which could give the market a flat to
down bias for a few days. We’ll see if Microsoft can change that. Let’s
look at some potential targets for this run. On the Nasdaq, yesterday’s
breakout of a 230-point bottom (first chart) gives the index upside
potential to 2310 – which would just about run into the index’s
September 1 downtrend line (second chart). 2250-2300 could be tough
resistance for the Nasdaq, and 1950-2000 should now be support. The S&P
500 could be headed to 1280 based on yesterday’s breakout (third chart),
which would carry it into the middle of 1255-1305 resistance (fourth
chart). The Dow’s recent breakout (fifth chart) gave it upside potential
to 10,600-10,900; a move above 10,859 would take out the level where its
sharp decline began.

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