Nets, Techs Back On Top

The stock market played an old tune on Wednesday, albeit one that hasn’t been heard in a while: Nets and techs rose while blue chips lagged.

The ISDEX gained 20 to 803, and the Nasdaq added 52 to 4011. The S&P 500 climbed 7 to 1505, and the Dow added 5 to 11,144. Volume rose to 865 million on the NYSE and 1.45 billion on the Nasdaq. But breadth was negative, with decliners leading 14 to 12 on the Big Board and 20 to 19 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.

After the bell, VA Linux Systems beat estimates by a nickel with a 10-cent loss. The stock, which added 1 to 37 in regular trading, rose $3 after hours. gained 2 7/16 to 38 15/16 after announcing it will be launching a new car-buying service tomorrow with

Inktomi climbed 9 3/16 to 120 13/16 on a deal with America Online to create an up-to-date information delivery platform called Content Bridge. The alliance also includes Exodus , off 1/16 to 64 and Digital Island , down 1/16 to 26 5/8. Notably absent from the alliance was Akamai , which lost 2 5/16 to 69 5/16.

i2 Technologies rose 6 1/8 to 151 1/2 on deals with DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen.

CMGI bolted 5 7/8 to 43 5/8 after announcing an agreement with the New England Patriots to name the team’s new stadium “CMGI Field.” For more on the story, click here.

Quokka Sports gained 1 3/8 to 8 1/8, but down from a high of 10, on an investment from GE unit NBC. DoubleClick rose 5 11/16 to 37 7/8 on speculation that the deal will mean more ad revenue for the company.

ValiCert rose 1 15/16 to 15 13/16 on an alliance with Cylink . Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown began coverage with a Strong Buy, and Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette issued a Buy rating. continued to soar after announcing an alliance with IBM , gaining 2 21/32 to 8 7/8. gained 1 13/32 to 4 31/32 on news that the company’s Internet postage technology will be included in Intuit’s Quicken personal financial software.

Sapient fell 8 3/8 to 108 despite Goldman Sachs reiterating Recommended List on the firm. added 7/8 to 25 5/8, a rather lukewarm reception for a Salomon Smith Barney Buy rating and $130 price target. The firm said it sees upside potential for the third quarter based on new growth categories.

24/7 Media gained 9/16 to 13 3/8 after announcing an expanded partnership with chinadotcom .

Some technical comments on the market: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 are right at major resistance, and the same points that they turned back at yesterday: right at the point where their bearish rising wedges meet their downtrend lines from their April peaks. Pretty potent resistance points: when an index or stock rises in a weak formation to a major downtrend line, the odds of clearing the downtrend line are not high. The Nasdaq turned back at a similar point at 4289 last month. That said, the indexes moved right up to those points in rising volume today, albeit with negative breadth: could a surprise breakout be in store? A strong move above 1512 on the S&P or above 3900 on the Nasdaq 100 would be a real plus, and possibly give the market room to run. The Nasd

aq is also at a similar juncture, but the index could rise as high as 4050-4100 before running into its downtrend line. That index too is at the point where it turned back at yesterday (4011). Also yesterday, the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 and 100 all formed “inverted hammers” or “gravestone doji,” patterns where the indexes rise strongly only to finish essentially unchanged; potential reversal patterns. We didn’t get much follow-through to the downside today, but barring breakouts on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100, it looks like the rally has probably been capped. A decline below 1490, where the S&P 500 found support this morning, could carry the S&P 500 back to the 1450-1460 range.

As we’ve said, the Nasdaq (and the Nasdaq 100) may be forming a bearish flag or pennant pattern in the daily chart since bottoming at 3521 two weeks ago, giving the Nasdaq potential for more downside, as much as 600 points. A break much below 3850 would be a warning sign. However, a flag or pennant pattern has at most three weeks to form, so if the Nasdaq can avoid a sell-off for the rest of the week, we have some hope here. The ISDEX also may be forming a bearish flag or pennant pattern here, signaling potential further downside on that index. The ISDEX is sitting just below key resistance of 810-815, the lower boundary of a broken bearish rising wedge. A break much below 770 would just about break the bearish flag pattern. Support on the ISDEX is at 693-700, 650 and 600. The Dow needs to stay above the 10,950 area to preserve the upside breakout of the diamond formation, and so far it has done that. Resistance on the Dow is just under 11,200; the index turned back yesterday at 11,189.

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