Net, Tech Stocks Hit New Lows

The only thing to give thanks for on Wednesday was the closing bell, as technology and Internet stocks hit new yearly lows.

The broader market was pressured by a ruling that hand recounts in Florida will count in the presidential election, giving hope to the Gore camp. Another ruling went Gore’s way after the close.

The ISDEX fell 32 to 425, and the Nasdaq dropped 116 to 2755. The S&P 500 lost 24 to 1322, and the Dow fell 95 to 10,399. Volume declined to 966 million shares on the NYSE, but surged to 1.87 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by 18 to 9 the NYSE and 28 to 10 on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our after hours trading site.

Juniper Networks rose 6 11/16 on a report that it is stealing market share from Cisco , which lost 2 3/4 to 50 15/16.

Institutional favorites led to the downside on high volume, an indication that professional money managers were joining in the selling. Aether Systems , off 14 7/8 to 66 1/8, and Openwave , down 16 3/16 to 52 5/16, plunged on news that NTT DoCoMo had purchased a 20% stake in AT&T Wireless , a move that analysts said could threaten the companies’ business with AWE. Research in Motion plunged 13 15/16 to 71 5/8, and Handspring dropped 8 1/2 to 54.

CacheFlow plummeted 38 13/16 to 38 after its sequential growth slowed from 75% to 45%. Inktomi dropped 7 1/2 to 28 3/4, and Network Appliance lost 2 1/2 to 58 1/2.

Portal Software cratered 11 29/32 to 6 23/32 after it beat estimates, but revenues came in light. There was also concern about margins and North American business. Four analysts downgraded the stock.

NetCreations slipped 15/16 to 5 1/16 on an earnings warning. The company is being acquired by DoubleClick , off 1 9/16 to 12 3/16.

Finisar rose 5 15/16 to 31 5/8 after beating estimates and isssuing a strong outlook.

Yahoo , off 3 9/16 to 38 1/8, hit a new yearly low, off 85% from its high of 250. eBay rose 1 5/8 to 33 3/16 after trading as low as 29 1/4, a new yearly low.

B2B stocks were again cast aside. Commerce One dropped 6 5/8 to 32 3/8; its yearly low is 29. Ariba lost 4 1/4 to 68. i2 plummeted 18 3/16 to 98 after its COO resigned.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We are now including charts in the technical market commentary. If you can’t get the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link:

A stunning day in the markets, and only the Dow finished the day looking positive. To begin with, the Nasdaq broke its strong support at about 2850, and in the process took out another important support, 2799, the 62% retracement of the 1357-5132 run-up. Both signs that the market’s amazing top could be breaking down and the long-term trend turning bearish. We’re also not sure if it’s enough capitulation to call a bottom. Fear remains at a lower level than we would like to see, and the volatility index (VIX) looks poised to break out, a contrary indicator. The maximum downside based on last week’s breakdown is 2500 (2530-2570 on the Nasdaq). The day after Thanksgiving has historically been a positive day, but another decision in Florida going the Gore campaign’s way after the close could put some pre

ssure on stocks.

One possible support for the Nasdaq: its 1990 logarithmic trendline at about 2300, where four sell-offs have ended since 1994.

The ISDEX broke down today, below its lower trendline, a move that was signaled by the damage done to that line yesterday. Next strong support is in the 375-400 area, a level we hope we don’t see. To the upside, there’s a lot of resistance, beginning at 500 and then 560.

The S&P 500 broke its 1994 logarithmic trendline at 1369 by more than 2%, and took out 1330 support in the process. So how low can we go? 1305 is the next support, and below that, the 1200-1250 area can hopefully provide a bottom.

The Dow looks great. So far. The index is holding above 10,380, a bullish sign. Here’s why: those three big green candlesticks in late October/early November were a bullish sign, called three white soldiers (essentially, three strong up days, each starting where the previous day left off, forming solid candlesticks). It’s a pretty reliable bullish pattern, and if it can hold, just might be enough to rescue this market. We hope. Happy Thanksgiving.

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