Rally Undone By Manufacturing Weakness

A weaker than expected manufacturing report undercut a strong opening on Wall Street on Monday.

Stocks initially rallied on news of the capture of terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but fell when the national ISM report showed that manufacturing growth slowed to a crawl in February. Reports of a North Korean intercept of a U.S. spy plane and speculation that Warren Buffett will once again call stocks overvalued in his annual report to shareholders also weighed on the market.

The Nasdaq fell 17 to 1320, the S&P 500 dropped 6 to 834, and the Dow fell 53 to 7837. Volume declined to 1.17 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.25 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a few issues on the NYSE, and by 17-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 78% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 74-56 on the NYSE, and 64-54 on the Nasdaq.

Palm fell 11% on a warning, the second straight 11% decline for the stock.

Intel , down 3.5%, launched a $300 million WiFi ad campaign. The Semiconductor Industry Association predicted more than 20% growth in each of the next two years.

Inrange , up 2.6%, boasted the fastest sales growth in the SAN Switch space last year. Also in the Fibre Channel space, Broadcom acquired the assets of Gadzoox.

BEA gained 1.1% on news of a major upgrade to its WebLogic Platform.

Microsoft , off 0.7%, plans two major releases this year.

Juniper , down 1.2%, won a European research deal.

Hoover’s rose 0.2% after agreeing to be acquired for $7 a share.

IBM , off 0.8%, boosted its business integration software offerings.

HP , up 0.1%, took a shot at IBM with new Web services offerings.

SBC , down 0.2%, is targeting small businesses.

And in a farewell to an era, Red Herring ceased publication.

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