Stocks Stage Stunning Reversal

On the 10th anniversary of the end of the last bear market, the stock market made a valiant attempt to end the current sell-off, recovering from steep early losses. Lowered expectations from Yahoo, Lucent and Motorola had sent stocks sprawling.

The ISDEX slipped 7 to 657 after trading as low as 617, and the Nasdaq dipped 15 to 3225, well off its low of 3103. The S&P 500 lost 12 to 1374, and the Dow declined 54 to 10,469. Volume soared to 650 million shares on the NYSE and 1 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by 18 to 8 on the NYSE and 29 to 8 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.

Yahoo plummeted 13 1/16 to 69 5/8. The company beat estimates by a penny with 13-cent-a-share earnings, in line with the whisper number. Revenues of $295.5 million beat estimates of $280-$285 million. But the company stressed in the conference call that it expects the difficult Internet advertising environment to continue for the next several quarters, and that marketing costs will likely rise faster than revenue. DoubleClick , which reports earnings tomorrow, dropped 2 7/8 to 21 13/16. eBay fell 2 11/16 to 55 1/4, but off its low of 51.

Cisco gained 1 1/16 to 52 3/16, recovering from a low of 48, below critical support of 50. Sonus Networks , which reports earnings tonight, gained 4 3/4 to 40 15/16, and Redback Networks , which also reports tonight, gained 2 1/2 to 123 1/16. Juniper Networks , which reports tomorrow, added 6 7/8 to 212 13/16.

WebEx gained 15/16 to 36 7/16 on a Wit SoundView Strong Buy rating. MarchFirst rose 1 3/16 to 11 1/8 on a JP Morgan Buy rating and $17 price target.

RSA Security rose 2 15/16 to 50 1/2 on news of a collaboration with Intel .

B2B stocks posted gains, led by i2 , up 6 3/24 to 175 3/4. Ariba tacked on 2 7/8 to 116 7/8.

Vignette surged 4 1/4 to 29 1/2 on no news. The company announced that it will report earnings October 25, which traders may have taken as a sign that the company will meet or beat estimates.

Inktomi again flirted with disaster, dropping 4 9/16 to 86 1/16. The stock may be forming a descending triangle, similar to one that Priceline broke down out of at 32. A close below 87 would be a clean break of that pattern.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We are now including charts with the technical market commentary; just click on the links in the story below to go to them. If you have trouble accessing the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link:

In our elusive quest for a bottom, we will point out the latest positive signs. Fear crept into the market in a big way today, with the volatility index spiking up to 32 1/2 at its peak, settling back to 30 1/2. The put/call ratio soared to 1.42 at its peak before pulling back to 1.02; the five-year closing high on that ratio is 1.11. Both signs of a potential bottom. Also interesting is where the selling stopped: on a line with the Nasdaq’s 1999 peak; a technical truism is that old tops make good bottoms. Today could qualify as a successful retest of the May 3042 low, but there h

as been so much technical damage done that we’ve got to wonder whether the final bottom is in. To the upside, we want to see the Nasdaq get back above 3300, a small downtrend within a downtrend, then 3500-3521, its previous bottom and main downtrend line.

The S&P 500 held its 1994 logarithmic trendline at about 1350, a very important level. A break of that line, which has never been broken, could carry the index as low as 1200. First resistance is at 1380.

The ISDEX broke support at 650, the lower end of a 200-point trading range. However, the ISDEX did recover back above that line. First resistance is the ISDEX’s downtrend line at about 675. The Dow broke its April trendline at about 10,400 but recovered above it. Resistance is at 10,500 and 10,600.

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