Tech Stocks Bounce

Technology stocks bounced on Friday, but the broader market continued to struggle after GE’s revenue miss.

The ISDEX gained 4 to 142, and the Nasdaq climbed 30 to 1756. The S&P 500 added 7 to 1111, and the Dow tacked on 14 to 10,190. Volume declined to 1.27 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.51 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 20 to 10 on the NYSE, and 23 to 12 on the Nasdaq.

IBM gained back some, but not much, of yesterday’s 5% drop even though the SEC took the unusual step of saying that an inquiry into the company’s accounting practices was opened, but that it was closed without action.

DoubleClick slipped on a warning, but Juniper gained despite guiding slightly lower. RSA slipped after missing estimates.

Mercury Interactive and Concord Communications soared after beating estimates. Powerwave , Elantec and Cree gained on their earnings reports.

Veeco surged after being named one of Merrill Lynch’s favorite tech stocks. We should add that Merrill’s stock continues to struggle in the wake of allegations that the company’s analysts privately derided stocks at the same time that they were giving favorable public ratings on them in order to secure investment banking business.

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.

The beauty of a clear down channel is that the breakout point gets lower all the time, and for Monday, the S&P 500’s breakout point should be at about 1126 (see first chart below). The lower channel line will be at about 1097 on Monday. Notice that perfectly flat 50-day moving average at 1127. The Dow (second chart) is forming an imperfect doji today, an indecision candlestick that could mark a turning point if the index can rally on Monday. The index needs to get back above its upper channel line at 10,250. 10,220 is first resistance, and 10,120-10,154 is first support. The Nasdaq (third chart) faces tough resistance between here and 1770, and would break its downtrend at 1810. Support is 1740-1745, 1724-1733 and 1696-1715. And finally, Max Pain – the point where most options expire worthless – is at 35 for the QQQ, the Nasdaq 100 tracking stock. Since options expire next Friday, techs could have another 4% of upside next week.



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