17:41 ET Monday After Hours : prices levels vs. 4 pm ET: Sellers continue to make their presence known as the S&P futures, at 1145, trade 2 points below fair value, and the Nasdaq 100 futures, at 1439, trade 3 points below fair value. Texas Instruments's (TXN) mid-quarter update has provided no consolation to traders despite being relatively upbeat - profit-taking on small upside moves (such as last week's gains) remains the name of the game.
16:20 ET Dow -66, Nasdaq -39, S&P -9.66: It was another uninspiring session, which in one blow erased the entirety of last week's gains for the Dow and the Nasdaq... The latter was especially hard-hit, with losses of 1.9% to show for the day... The semiconductor sector spearheaded the Nasdaq's decline ahead of Texas Instruments' (TXN 30.60 -0.87) mid-quarter update, with the SOX index closing down 3.8%... The group's decline was particularly notable in the face of multiple upgrades in the group this morning, which clearly failed to incite buying interest, much like a Reuters report indicating that Wal-Mart's (WMT 60.66 +0.42) same store sales are running in the 4-6% range... Accordingly, the major averages spent the entire session in a steady drift lower, although the losses in the blue-chip averages were limited by the banking sector... While the latter closed the session in the red, it outperformed the broader market, supported by the sharply lower interest rates, which came on the heels of Friday's worse-than-expected Employment report... To that effect, the bond market continued to rally in today's session, with the 10-year note closing up 19/32, bringing its yield down to 3.78%, the lowest level since July... The bulk of the sectors closed the session in the red, with laggards of note including the hardware, internet, networking, semiconductor, software, telecom, biotech, broker/dealer, steel and gold groups... Leaders to the upside were more difficult to come by, but included the healthcare equipment and leisure products sectors... NYSE Adv/Dec 1392/1906... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1066/2108.
- Triquint Semiconductor (TQNT) +2%: Mid-cap semiconductor name raises its Q1 (Mar) outlook to gross margins of 32-33%, revenues of $85-87 mln, and a loss per share of $0.01-0.02 - the latter two ranges are at, or above, the Street's forecasts; Management cites 'robust end market demand' and 'strong bookings'
- Foundry Networks (FDRY): -8%: Provider of networking solutions takes a hit off comments made during its 16 ET presentation at the Deutsche Bank Securities IT Hardware Conference; General tone of the call was not too inspiring, with management saying it sees 'signs of an improving economy... but it is not booming;' Talk brings rival CSCO down too
- 16:32 ET Texas Instruments sees Q1 rev at $2.84-$2.95 bln: vs consensus $2.85 bln (TXN) 30.60 -0.87: -- Update --
- 16:31 ET Texas Instruments sees Q1 EPS of $0.19-$0.22: vs consensus $0.19 (TXN) 30.60 -0.87: -- Update --
- 15:34 ET Treasury Market Summary: Treasuries have been bid higher for the third consecutive day as the dollar weakened against the yen and euro. Much of today's light volume trading was simply a continuation of Friday's employment short squeeze and rumors of Bank of Japan intervention. With yields at 8-month lows, a new wave of home mortgage refinancing is expected to compel mortgage managers to purchase treasuries as a hedge against prepayments. This, along with renewed faith in foreign central bank intervention, should give the market enough support to survive the lack of job creation, at least for now. With no key economic releases scheduled for tomorrow the market will again look towards the technicals for a breakout below 3.783%-3.766% range. The 10-year is currently +20/32nds; yielding 3.774%, 2-year is currently +04/32nds; yielding 1.496%, 5-year is currently +13/32nds; yielding 2.711%, 30-year is currently +26/32nds; yielding 4.711%.
- 15:17 ET Applied Materials moving rapidly towards 200-day as semis come under heavy sell pressure (AMAT) 20.73 -0.69: The Semiconductor group is taking a beating this afternoon, with the SOX now down 3.8% on the session and Semi Equip sector trading down 2.9%. Intel pacing decline in group as stock has blown through 2-wk price support and its 200-day sma (see 10:54 comment). AMAT currently moving aggressively to lows of08:17 ET Barron's highlights cheap tech stocks : Barron's column "Hidden Bargains" highlights cheap European tech stocks, such as Nokia and Infineon. Take Nokia versus Motorola: The Finnish handset maker has a '04 P/E of about 16 times, once you subtract from the market capitalization the hoard of cash it has. Nokia has 20%-plus handset margins and arguably the best third-generation handsets in the business. Yet America's Motorola, with 5% margins, has a P/E around 40 times. People say Nokia's margins are unsustainable. But, Stuart O'Gorman, a Henderson Global Technology Fund manager, wonders, how will a co with 5% margins undermine one with 20%? The comparison between semiconductor makers like Germany's Infineon Technologies and Micron Technology shapes up similarly, he says. The former sports a 2005 P/E of 15x vs the U.S. firm's 25x. On an enterprise value to sales basis, the German firm trades at 1.3 times, versus 2.7 times for Micron. Both produce commodity chips, but Infineon has more exposure to higher-margin telecommunications-chip sales. "Global investors should be in Infineon, not Micron," he says flatly.
- Day. Stock faces its 200-day exponential moving avg at $20.65, followed by the 200-day sma at $20.54.
- 08:07 ET NOK: Hearing that tier-1 firm speculating that co could preannounce to upside over next few weeks :
- 07:42 ET CSCO: Lehman checks indicate solid demand trends 22.89: Lehman out with a positive comment on Cisco (CSCO) saying their extensive recent round of channel & industry checks indicates demand trends have remained solid through Feb & early March in keeping with theme of slow & steady improvement in corporate spending on networking. According to the firm, orders and sales may be tracking solidly towards at least the upper-end of management`s up 1-3% QoQ guidance and while it remains very early, they estimate book-to-bill of around 1 may be achievable. The solid orders are likely to be led by strength in government, with the vendor well- positioned for a potential large DOJ network infrastructure upgrade contract that may be issued in the next 2-3 weeks. While the firm does not look for significant upside to estimates, they see near-term potential for the shares to rise to approx $25.