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Didn't miss much

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If you stepped out to vote during the lunch hour, you haven't missed much as stocks continue to trade in a narrow range as the major indexes edge back near their early morning highs.

The most exciting intra-day technicals find the NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 1,043 -0.38% making a fourth intra-day attempt at the 1,045 level after a post-lunch dip to a session low of 1,029.

After a 7% jump at the open yesterday, shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) $56.39 +0.51% hold the bulk of yesterday's gains, while Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $12.49 +1.46% leads today's NASDAQ most active with just over 680 million shares traded.

Specialty grocer Wild Oats Markets (NASDAQ:OATS) $10.05 -22% lead today's NASDAQ loser list after the company reported earning's this morning that met Wall Street's forecast, but fell sharply after RBC downgraded the stock to "sector perform," based on valuation.

Grocers Albertsons (NYSE:ABS) $20.04 -2.62%, Safeway (NYSE:SWY) $22.31 -2.9% are carting losses, while Kroger (NYSE:KR) $15.09 +0.13% rings up a small gain.

Shares of TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) $4.75 +4.62% have jumped higher in the last hour after Thomas Weisel said it found in its offline and online store checks that TiVo digital video recorders are expected to be a "hot" holiday item again this year, driven largely by strong word of mouth advertising. Thomas Weisel expects the new Series2 DirectTV-TiVo combo boxes (price point $299, with $4.95 monthly subscription) to be a hot seller.

Piling on with a cautious outlook toward semiconductor stocks this afternoon is Bear Stearns cutting their 2003 semi industry revenue growth forecast to 14% from 17% based on a weak Q4 and probable weakness in the first half of 2003. Bear Stearns said the recent rally in chip stocks is premature and reiterates their "market weight" rating for the group.

Volume on the NASDAQ is average at just over 1.40 billion shares, while NYSE volume has just breached the 1 billion mark.

Breadth on the NYSE has improved and is now even, while NASDAQ breadth is slightly negative at 17 to 15, with decliners have the edge.

Jeff Bailey

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