Stocks got off to a weak start this morning as a spattering of broker downgrades in the technology sectors has the NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 863.66 -0.8%, while the NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock (AMEX:QQQ) $21.47 -2.36% trades lower.
Here again we see disparity between the NDX and QQQ, but now it makes sense and something I can reproduce to understand the disparity. Yesterday, at 04:00 PM EST, the NDX went out at 870.20. At 04:00 PM EST, the QQQ traded $21.62, but didn't close until 04:15 PM EST at $21.95, which creates the "discrepancy" in % loss in today's trade. This is something that a few subscribers tried to point out to me a couple of weeks ago, but I was not able to get from my q-charts at that time.
Per last night's Index Trader Wrap, if index bears are looking short/put, then its the NASDAQ-100 I feel traders should be implementing bearish trades on today, with a stop just above the $22.25 level as a measurement of risk and near-term target would remain $20.20. The "first hurdle" a QQQ bear needs to clear in my mind is a break back below the $21.00 level.
NASDAQ-100 weakness is coming from Network Appliance (NASDAQ:NTAP) $7.48 -7% and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $10.28 -5.95%. I see no "news" to explain NTAP weakness, but pre-open comments and cutting of CSCO estimates by UBS Warburg are obviously impacting shares of CSCO.
There are other stocks that are weak in the NASDAQ-100 that outperform the downside losses mentioned in NTAP and CSCO, but those stocks are under $5.00 per share. Traders can view the NASDAQ-100 HeatMap http://screening.nasdaq.com/Heatmaps/Heatmap_100.asp for a snapshot look at how the various components are moving. NASDAQ-100 breadth is slightly negative at with 3 stocks declining for every 2 stocks gaining. About the only stock I see showing a "meaningful" gain that hasn't traded a 52-week low in recent sessions is shares of Dell Computer (NASDAQ:DELL) $25.32 +2.75%.
The Dow Industrials (INDU) 7,843 -1.19% is showing negative breadth with 25 stocks lower and 5 higher. Shares of chemical giant Du Pont (NYSE:DD) $37.71 -4.8% lead the declines, most likely in sympathy with this mornings warning out of Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) $27.41 -8.02%. Gains are found in shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) $58.01 +3.10% after a judge blocked Guidant Corporation's (NYSE:GDT) $27.11 -17% development of a drug-coated stent, effictively sending Guidant back to the drawing board in its effort to bring the lucrative heart device to market.
Industry-watchers had said a favorable ruling was critical for Guidant to stay in the race with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) $35.94 +11% to develop the devices.