Traders Await Yahoo News

Shares of Yahoo were halted on Wednesday ahead of a 5 p.m. ET announcement that was expected to be either an earnings warning or a restructuring. Stocks rose again despite earnings warnings from name companies.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ added 3 to 285, and the Nasdaq rose 29 to 2234. The S&P 500 climbed 6 to 1259, and the Dow rose 88 to 10,680. Volume dropped to 480 million shares on the NYSE, and 795 million on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17 to 11 on the NYSE, and 17 to 15 on the Nasdaq. For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar at http://www.wsrn.com/apps/earnings/internet.xpl and reported earnings at http://www.wsrn.com/apps/earnings/ireported.xpl. For after hours quotes and news, visit our after hours trading site at http://www.afterhourstrading.com.

Yahoo was halted ahead of a 5 p.m. announcement. CNBC reported that the announcement most likely will involve either earnings guidance or restructuring. Nasdaq halted trading after Yahoo cancelled an appearance for tomorrow at the Merrill Lynch Internet Conference. For Merrill’s take on the Yahoo developments, click here: http://www.wsrn.com/apps/news/art.xpl?id=1760927&f=NEWS.

But earnings warnings don’t seem to be having much effect on the broader market lately. JDS Uniphase, Broadcom and InterNAP were the latest to warn. Broadcom fell 6 1/4 to 41 5/8 after warning that earnings will come in at 8-9 cents, well under the 27 cents expected by analysts, and announced that a major customer had cancelled a contract. JDS slipped 1/8 to 27 7/8 after guiding estimates down from 17 cents a share to 14 cents. InterNAP plunged 2 9/32 to 2 1/16 after warning that quarterly and full-year revenues will come in light.

PurchasePro surged 1 15/16 to 12 3/16 on a positive earnings pre-announcement. Ariba rose 1 1/16 to 16 1/8 on analyst comments that the stock is undervalued.

Extended Systems was unchanged at 23 1/8 on news that it will be acquired by Palm , which rose 2 1/4 to 21 5/8.

The IPO of Loudcloud , the latest venture of Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, was pushed back to Friday.

Audiocodes on UBS Warburg comments that the company could have a tough time making its numbers. Ulticom , up 3 1/2 to 28 7/8, continued to rally on good earnings news.

Investors in Check Point must have liked what they heard at yesterday’s analyst conference, because the stock added another 3 1/8 to 68 7/8.

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: http://www.afterhourstrading.com/column.html

The Nasdaq is trapped in a 50-point range here, between 2200 and 2250. To the upside is a downtrend line from September and the January lows, both around 2250 (first chart). To the downside is 2200 support (second chart), below which the Nasdaq would begin to fill two gaps at 2142 and 2117. Which way will the trading range resolve? Our best guess is to the downside, because the Nasdaq is threatening to form another candlestick reversal pattern today if it closes below where it opened, at 2241.23. These strong opening gaps up and weak closes are not a sign of strength, but we hope the Nasdaq proves us wrong here. A close above 2318 would give the index a higher high, and 2071 is critical support, the Nasdaq’

s re-formed 1990 logarithmic trendline. We suspect that the recent lows on all the indexes may hold, but a retest of those lows is not out of the question.

The S&P 500 may have a higher February downtrend line than we thought (the upper trendline in the first chart), and is also being halted by its September downtrend line at about 1265 (second chart). If the index can close above 1275, its early January low, it could be headed for 1335. 1234-1240 is first support on the index, and 1214 is critical support.

The Dow must get back above 10,650 on a closing basis to be restored to a positive bias, and 10,700 is providing strong intraday resistance. To the downside, 10,450-10,500 is the first strong support. A close below 10,292 could lead to a retest of the index’s lows in the 9600-9700 area, although 10,200 or so could also provide support. The Dow Transports are back above 2900, a good sign. To the upside, the Transports must get back above 3000.

Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns and an overview of last year’s action in the stock market, visit http://www.internetstockreport.com/guest/article/0,1785,2571_500051,00.html.

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