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Equities rather flat as President Bush discusses stimulus plan

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Stocks have digested this morning's economic data, which showed continued sluggishness in the November factor orders data with a decline of 0.8%, which was slightly below economist's forecast for a 0.6% decline.

The market's attention has now turned to President Bush's speech at the Economic Club of Chicago, where President Bush looks to discuss his economic stimulus plan that his administration hopes will stimulate the economy.

The Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,750 -0.26% is steady and currently showing a 25-point decline in a rather lackluster trading session.

Early morning bullishness from some of the data storage stocks leveled out near their highs with the Disk Drive Index (DDX.X) 78.84 +2.65% still holding today's sector winner spot, while EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) $7.45 +9.55% holds just above its opening tick of $7.40 and just off its session high of $7.50 found in the first 5-minutes of trading.

After a gap higher at the open to $25.82, Disk Drive Index component Storage Technology (NYSE:STK) $24.32 -0.85% found selling as the stock now hovers near its session low of $24.19. Earlier this morning the company said it saw Q4 earnings of $0.45 per diluted share, which was well above consensus estimates of $0.36 per share. Today's reversal from a 52-week high opening gap may have some bulls locking in gains as the stock has more than doubled since trading $10 in early October.

After a slight gap lower to $16.25 at the open of trading, shares of Tyco Intl. (NYSE:TYC) $16.80 +1.69% have reversed those losses and has the stock taking today's top spot among the most actively traded issues at just over 57.2 million shares. The stock battles with its still trending lower 200-day SMA for the 5th consecutive session after the company reaffirmed Q1 (December) EPS from continuing operations of $0.30-$0.33, which range of guidance surrounds analyst's estimates for EPS of $0.32. The company also announced it has obtained commitment from various banks for a new $1.5 billion credit facility, which the company feels will help provide support to its credit rating.

After breaking to a new 52-week high yesterday, on-line auctioneer eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) $72.79 -0.24% trades relatively flat despite comments from CSFB and the firm raising its Q4 revenue and EPS estimates to $396.8 million/$0.25 from $381.6 million/$0.23 on belief that the recent quarter was particularly strong due to the seasonal upswing as well as the company's successful ad campaigns. Current consensus among analysts polled was for rev/EPS of $386.2 million/$0.23.

Market volume is rather "normal" with NYSE volume approaching the 1 billion share mark at 917 million traded, while NASDAQ volume has breached the 1 billion shares traded at 1.1 billion.

Intra-day advance decline line has losers outnumbering decliners at both the NYSE and NASDAQ. NYSE breadth is negative by a 19 to 12 margin, while NASDAQ breadth shows decliners outnumbering advancers by a 17 to 14 margin.

New highs versus new lows remains healthy with the NYSE showing 76 stocks trading a new 52-week high versus just 9 stocks trading a new 52-week low. Meanwhile, NASDAQ reports 78 stocks having traded a new 52-week high compared to 27 stocks trading new 52- week lows.

Jeff Bailey

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