Stocks Begin Year Higher

An early sell-off marked the start of a new year on Wall Street on Wednesday, but stocks clawed back to end the day on the plus side.

Traders ignored a much-better than expected ISM (formerly NAPM) report on the strength of the manufacturing sector in the early sell-off.

The ISDEX rose 4 to 185, and the Nasdaq gained 28 to 1979. The S&P 500 added 6 to 1154, and the Dow climbed 51 to 10,073. Volume rose to 1.1 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.5 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 16 to 15 on the NYSE, and 19 to 16 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, a judge set a Jan. 7 hearing date on Microsoft’s request for a delay in antitrust remedy hearings. Symantec announced a new president and COO.

During the day, Oracle rose despite announcing that it will lay off 1-2% of its workforce.

Halted announced that it overstated revenues for the first three quarters of 2001 by $54-$95 million, and said that other restatements may be coming.

PeopleSoft fell 3% on accounting concerns.

Redback Networks soared 19% on Morgan Stanley comments.

GlobeSpan Virata soared 20% on a Needham Strong Buy rating.

eBay slipped 1% on a Robertson Stephens downgrade.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: To see the charts in the text email newsletter, click on the story link at the top of the newsletter.

Note: Don’t miss our top picks for 2002 at (, using a method that returned 43% in 2000 and 31% in 2001.

The Nasdaq (first chart) looks like it could be forming a head-and-shoulders top here. The levels to watch for tomorrow are pretty clear: 1960 is support, and 1990-2000 looks like tough resistance. If it breaks through either level, it could keep going. The Dow (second chart) is trapped in range between 9800 and 10,200. First resistance is 10,090-10,120, and support is 10,000 and 9935-9950. The S&P (third chart) sure looks like a broadening top, but let’s see if the market has other plans. Critical resistance is 1163-1173, and support is 1146-1148, 1136 and 1130. January is a seasonally strong month, and the market sure showed resilience today. And the market’s performance in the first five days of January has historically been a good barometer of its performance in the year ahead, so the next four days are important ones.

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