Stocks Suffer From Northern Exposure

Stocks continued to suffer from Nortel Networks’ weaker-than-expected revenues on Thursday. Investors hoped for better from JDS Uniphase when it reports earnings after the close.

The ISDEX lost 28 to 578, and the Nasdaq dropped 95 to 3133. The S&P 500 lost 18 to 1346, and the Dow slipped 7 to 10,319. Volume declined to 530 million shares on the NYSE and 940 million on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by 14 to 11 on the NYSE and 21 to 12 on the Nasdaq. The employment cost index provided some relief from inflation worries, but traders were more concerned about tomorrow’s GDP report. Dallas Fed President Robert McTeer said yesterday that the GDP report could come in much weaker than expected, fueling fears of a sharp economic slowdown. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and reported earnings. For after hours quotes and news, visit our after hours trading site.

The Nortel fallout continued, after the company report weaker-than-expected optical sales after the close on Tuesday. JDS Uniphase , also strong in the optical space, dropped 5 3/4 to 65 1/4 ahead of its earnings report tonight. Juniper Networks was off 28 5/8 to 167, breaking its broadening top that we wrote about recently. A close below 174 would give the stock downside potential to 120.

InfoSpace declined 1 7/16 to 18 7/8 after trading as high as 24 1/2 after reporting earnings of 3 cents a share, 3 cents better than expected. VeriSign dropped 18 to 129 7/16 despite blowing away estimates by 12 cents with 18-cent earnings. However, there was some concern about deferred revenues in the report.

webMethods fared better, rising 5 1/8 to 90 1/8 after beating estimates by 11 cents with breakeven results. Vignette fell 4 1/2 to 24 3/4 after matching estimates with a 1-cent loss.

Rare Medium added 11/16 to 5 1/16 after beating estimates by 3 cents with 4-cent earnings. iVillage tacked on 5/32 to 1 29/32 after a better-than-expected loss. slipped 5/8 to 11 after 7-cent earnings beat estimates by a penny.

Evoke lost 3/4 to 4 3/4 on a better-than expected loss. slipped 3/32 to 3/8 despite beating estimates. Tanning Technology dropped 2 to 6 1/4 despite beating estimates by 3 cents with 8-cent earnings.

Modem Media , up 7/8 to 6 3/16, beat estimates by 3 cents with 1-cent earnings. BackWeb was unchanged at 6 after beating estimates by a penny with a 1-cent loss. Peapod rose 1/16 to 1 1/16 despite missing estimates by 9 cents. rose 15/32 to 4 13/32 on news that the Web site will be integrated with the operations of parent company Barnes & Noble .

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:

It’s all up to JDS Uniphase tonight. The Nasdaq has potential to as low as 2800, the apex of its broken falling wedge, if JDSU confirms weakness in the optical networking sector, the market’s leadership since May. Also, the broken

bear pennant in that chart gives the index downside potential to 2700-2900. That range also coincides with a line across the pre-1999 peaks, which is where the index took off last year. 3000 could provide some support, but one of these times that level isn’t going to hold. To the upside, a move above 3250, the old September downtrend line, would be a big positive.

The S&P 500 cannot close below its 1994 logarithmic trendline at about 1350 by more than 2%, or 1323. The S&P may also have broken a bear pennant that could set up a retest of the 1300-1325 range. The ISDEX retested its May low around 560 today; if that breaks, next possible support could be 500. The ISDEX’s broken September downtrend line is now at about 575. The Dow failed again at its secondary downtrend line around 10,400. The index looks better than the others, but it too may have broken out of a bear flag or pennant, setting up a possible retest of the lows. 10,000 could provide some support.

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