Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Black Eye for Big Blue But Dow Gets New High

Despite disappointment from Dow component IBM (down more than 2 points) on merely meeting analysts' first quarter estimates, the 30 blue chips of the Dow clawed their way to a new all-time high of 12,803.84. The finish was just seven points above the previous high, but it still counts. Hallelujah!

The big winner of the day was Caterpillar (CAT) up more than 2 points on the day and nearly 15% on the year. Along with the heavy equipment manufacturer, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) also added a couple of points (over 4%) to help move the entire average higher.

Without the moves from those two issues, the Dow would never had made it. 16 of the 30 component stocks were down, reflecting a somewhat bearish sentiment even on such a pin-striped, back-slapping kind of day.

The other indices we're exactly on the same page as the Dow, with the S&P and Composite showing marginal gains and the NASDAQ posting a second straight losing session.

Dow 12,803.84 +30.80; NASDAQ 2,510.50 -6.45; S&P 500 1,472.50 +1.02; NYSE Composite 9,634.87 +3.18

Volume was slightly beyond moderate, an indication of nothing more than increased interest in company earnings. Speaking of such, internet pioneer Yahoo got taken out and shot, losing 3.78 (-12%) after missing 1st quarter projections. Yahoo only made 10 cents per share as opposed to 11 in the same period of 2006.

Yahoo's miss was yet another setback in a long string of mistakes and miscues, most of them since startup Google stole most of the search business away. Yahoo has been playing catch-up and has been criticized for being complacent in the marketplace while other competitors ramped up new, innovative products and services.

Internals were a mixed bag, but still evidencing a bearish bias. Decliners beat out advancing issues by a 4-3 margin, and there were fewer new highs for the 2nd straight day, 353, but only 61 issues registered new lows.

Helping the equities at least stay in place, oil barely budged, gaining just 3 cents. Gold and silver were mixed, but both nearly flat.

More earnings tomorrow, and the market is nervous.

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