Monday February 7, 8:17 am Eastern Time
(Note: this article is ``in progress''; there will likely be an update soon.)
U.S. stocks to open lower, technology in spotlight
By Amy Collins
NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were expected to open lower on Monday, scaling back from Friday's
record close on the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index that left blue chips trailing.
``It's a fragmented market,'' said Larry Wachtel, a market analyst at Prudential Securities Inc.
``Can technology sustain the upside,'' is the question of the morning, he said. ``The whole leadership revolves around
high tech, and high tech gets tired.''
Gold stocks continued their rise from Friday after North America's third-largest gold producer, Placer Dome Inc.
(Toronto:PDG.TO - news)(NYSE:PDG - news), suspended its hedging program in expectation of an improving gold market and called on other
producers to rethink their policies.
``Gold is glittering,'' Wachtel said, but cautioned that its rise would be isolated into its own niche. "It's a new group in the leadership, so that might draw
But Cardillo said the rise in gold could become problematic.
``If that were to continue to move higher, that could be troublesome for the market. Simply because people could start to think sentiment is changing,''
Stocks in the news included International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM - news), where researchers this week will unveil designs of computer
chips that they say will be the world's fastest.
Winding up a three-month merger battle, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE - news) approved a $90 billion deal to acquire Warner-Lambert Co. (NYSE:WLA -
news), whose board was expected to give final approval to the transaction on Monday, people close to the deal said. American Home Products Corp.
(NYSE:AHP - news) will withdraw its bid for Warner-Lambert in exchange for a payment of $1.8 billion.
Dell Computer Corp. (NasdaqNM:DELL - news) formed a sales and marketing division aimed at Internet-service providers and Web hosting companies,
the Wall Street Journal reported.
In economic news, consumer credit for December is expected to show a rise of $9 billion, compared with the steep increase in November of $15.6
billion. The report is due at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT).
The Nasdaq index future for March was down 21.5 points at 3,885 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index future for March was down 4.5 points at
The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was down 3/32, with the yield down to 6.28 percent. On Friday, the yield ended at 6.27 after a roller coaster ride
following the announcement of a supply shortage and the stronger-than-expected January jobs report. Beginning Tuesday, bonds will see three days of
Treasury note auctions.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC - news) on Friday ended 33.16 points higher, or 0.79 percent, to 4,244.14, topping its Jan. 21
record close of 4,235.40. It was Nasdaq's biggest weekly point gain ever, of 357.07 points, or 9.19 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - news) fell 49.64 points or 0.45 percent to 10,963.80 while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^SPX -
news) edged down 0.60 point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,424.37.