Techs, Nets Plunge In Near-Record Volume

Stocks plunged across the board on Wednesday, continuing a sell-off that began when the Federal Reserve failed to lower interest rates on Tuesday. Nasdaq volume was just short of a record.

The ISDEX plummeted 41 to 335, an 11% loss, and the Nasdaq plunged 178 to 2332, both new 52-week lows. The Nasdaq is now 54% off its all-time high of 5132 and is on track for its worst year ever, and the ISDEX is 70% off its high of 1132. By comparison, the S&P 500 lost 86% in the great 1929-1932 bear market. The S&P 500 fell 40 to 1264 and the Dow dropped 265 to 10,318. Volume soared to 1.43 billion shares on the NYSE and 2.78 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by 19 to 10 on the NYSE and 32 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.

Only one of 50 ISDEX stocks finished the day unchanged: closed unchanged at 5 3/8.

VerticalNet lost 1/4 to 5 1/8 despite winning a contract from Commerce One , which plunged 8 5/16 to 22 11/16. Ariba fell 12 to 47 1/4, breaking support at 49.

An earnings warning from Foundry Networks and an earnings miss from Jabil hit infrastructure stocks hard. Foundry plunged 17 5/16 to 13 1/4, Juniper Networks lost 15 9/16 to 98 3/16, Cisco lost 5 5/8 to 36 1/8, and Extreme Networks plummeted 17 1/16 to 31 1/2. Merrill Lynch downgraded Cisco and CS First Boston said fund manager sentiment is so negative that Cisco could be headed to the mid-20s.

Even good news couldn’t save stocks. TIBCO fell 5 1/16 to 39 1/4 after the company’s 10-cent earnings beat estimates by 3 cents.

eBay fell 4 3/8 to 27 15/16, a new 52-week low. Yahoo , off 3/8 to 27 5/8, and , off 1 9/16 to 16 11/16, also hit new yearly lows.

AnswerThink lost 1 1/8 to 2 7/8 on an earnings warning.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We are now including charts in the technical market commentary. If you can’t get the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link:

The Nasdaq closed right on its 1990 logarithmic trendline today. We can’t get the monthly charts to update intraday today, but here’s a link showing the trendline (note that the Nasdaq also closed on a line with the early 1999 lows): A very good place from which to stage a rally. If we don’t hold above 2300, the next stop is likely to be under 2200.

The Nasdaq 100 completed a measured bear move at 2228, just below today’s low of 2237. That completes a move from the August peak equal in points to the first leg down in April and May. With both Nasdaq indexes completing major objectives, and fund managers so scared that they won’t step up and buy Cisco, we are hopeful of at least a modest bounce soon.

The S&P 100 broke 685 support; 650 support is next. The S&P 500 also broke support, and could find support at 1250.

The Dow continues to be the best-looking index. While it closed below the 10,380 level that began its outperformance in late October, it is still holding above critical 10,300


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