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Stuck near their lows

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There's been little movement in the major index the last half of today's session with the Dow Industrials (INDU) 7,678 -1.23% bound in an afternoon range of 7,665-7,695. There have been brief moment at the upper and lower end of each range where it looks as if the Dow might make some type of consolidation break, but that just hasn't been the case, and this action seems to have the other indexes exhibiting an identical trade.

Shares of National Semiconductor (NYSE:NSM) $16.50 +2.10% continue to show gains and near a session high after the company's quarterly earnings conference call had the company saying that fab utilization is projected to be above 70% for the next quarter. The company also stated that the PC market showed stronger than typical seasonal trends for the latest quarter.

A quick check of PC-box makers has Dell Computer (NASDAQ:DELL) $26.03 -2.39% at its lows of the session, Gateway (NYSE:GTW) $2.24 (unch) and Apple Computer (NYSE:AAPL) $14.52 -0.68% off fractionally.

Volume leaders today have Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $13.48 -1.89% still holding above its 200-day SMA of $13.41 on just over 52 million shares traded. Penny stock Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) $0.50 -3.79% turns just over 46 million shares and sinks back near its 52-week low of $0.46 on further concerns that production cutbacks at General Motors lessens the likelihood of any type of strength being found in the new car market for it to split with rival XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) $4.55 -1.30.

Holding the number 3 slot for most actively traded is penny stock Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) $3.27 -1.62%, as it tries to hold above its short-term 21-day SMA of $3.30. Declines below the 21- day SMA have been rather unkind to shares of SUNW and today's break may have the stock vulnerable to the $3.00 level.

It's been a rather light volume trading session again today, with NYSE and NASDAQ volumes just now approaching the 1 billion mark. As the session has progressed, the number of new 52-week lows are mounting at the NYSE and NASDAQ. The NYSE new low count has grown to 166 compared to 68 new highs, while NASDAQ shows 93 stocks hitting new 52-week lows compared to 39 stocks trading a new 52-week high.

On a broader scale, both the NYSE and NASDAQ show decliners outnumbering advancers by a 19 to 11 margin.

Jeff Bailey

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