Nasdaq Again Flirts With Moving Averages

Stocks rose modestly on Thursday, with the Nasdaq again flirting with its key moving averages.

The ISDEX gained 8 to 762, and the Nasdaq rose 53 to 3914, just below its 50- and 200-day moving averages. The S&P 500 rose 13 to 1493, and the Dow added 33 to 11,041 despite weakness in Hewlett-Packard, which fell despite beating estimates. Volume declined to 405 million shares on the NYSE and 618 million on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 13 to 12 on the NYSE, while breadth was even on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our new after hours trading site.

Fiber optics stocks were strong. Corning rose 12 3/16 to 289 1/8 on news of a 3-for-1 stock split. Ciena rose 10 7/8 to 174 1/8 after reporting earnings of 19 cents a share, 2 cents above estimates.

Telescan rose 1 3/4 to 5 3/8 on news that it will be acquired by , off 1 55/64 to 11 5/16, for 0.5 GLBN shares for each TSCN share.

In a sign of how times have changed for Net stocks, iTurf announced that it will rejoin parent company Delia’s . iTurf, which fell 25/32 to 2 7/32 on the news, was spun off in April 1999 at $22 a share and traded as high as $66.

[email protected] rose 13/16 to 14 3/8 on news that Cablevision had dropped claims again the company.

Copper Mountain , off 3 5/16 to 63 9/16, continued to drop on concern that the company may lose a key Lucent contract, despite a report on CNBC that the rumors appeared to be unfounded.

eBay continued to gain on CEO Meg Whitman’s keynote address Monday night at Pacific Crest’s E.Conference, rising 3 9/16 to 61 1/16. Whitman discussed the company’s ambition to become a global trading platform.

Ariba gained 3 5/16 to 140 3/4 despite a Sands Brothers downgrade to Buy from Strong Buy. The firm thinks Commerce One , up 9/16 to 49 1/4, will outperform Ariba in the short-term.

Cynet gained 21.85 cents to $1.3125 on news of a $2 million investment from Compaq. recovered 3/32 to 3/4 a day after losing more than half its value on news that the company will need additional financing in the next few weeks to continue operations.

Kana Communications , up 2 11/16 to 40 11/16, continued to gain after recent alliances with IBM, Cisco and others.

Portal Software was unchanged at 56 1/8. Investors have been nervous over the company’s earnings, due out tonight.

Some technical comments on the market: The Nasdaq is once again flirting with its key moving averages, rising above the 50-day (3920) and approaching the 200-day (3945). The index has repeatedly turned back in this area. The Nasdaq has been stuck in a narrowing trading range and has yet to establish firm direction either way. The index may be forming a bearish flag pattern in the daily chart since bottoming at 3521 recently, giving the index potential for more downside, as much as 600 points. A break below 3700 would be a warning sign. The index has not had a high-volume follow-through day to confirm its recent reversal, a negative sign. Today is the final day for the Nasdaq to accomplish that, and so far volume is running below yesterday’s. The Dow and S&P barely met the minimum requirements for follow-through days. The ISDEX also may be forming a bearish flag pattern here, signaling potential further downside on that index. Key resistance is now around 800, the lower boundary of a broken bearish rising wedge. Su

pport on the ISDEX is at 693-700, 650 and 600; a break below 700 would just about break the bearish flag pattern. The S&P is once again back above 1480-1490 resistance and is just below 1500. The Dow needs to stay above the 10,950-10,975 area to preserve the upside breakout of the diamond formation, and so far it has done that. However, up moves continue to be on lower volume, and down moves on higher volume. Not a good sign. Hewlett-Packard seems to be part of a trend: companies that beat estimates, but do so through investment gains while analysts find the company’s core business to be uninspiring. Resistance on the Dow is just under 11,200.

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