Wall St falls ending 5-week rally???????

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by S2007S, May 8, 2007.

  1. S2007S


    are they that confident that the dow could close in the red today.....

    Wall St falls ending 5-week rally
    Tuesday May 8, 12:25 pm ET
    By Michael Mackenzie in New York

    Wall Street turned lower on Tuesday, as investors lacked a catalyst to extend a winning streak that had driven blue chip stocks on their best run since 1927.

    In spite of deal talk, share buybacks, upside earning results and an upgrade for year-end targets on the major benchmarks by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), investors adopted a cautious approach with the Federal Reserve set to meet on Wednesday.

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    At midday, the S&P 500 index was down 0.45 per cent at 1,502.74, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.4 per cent lower at 2,559.85.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.4 per cent at 13,257.06, and was set to break its longest winning streak in 80 years. As of Monday, the blue chip barometer had risen in 24 out of the past 27 trading days.

    Stocks have rallied consistently since the start of April, and while analysts say that has likely left the market set for a period of consolidation, it would not threaten the long term bullish outlook.

    "We should see some short term weakness, and that will likely present investors with a buying opportunity," said William Strazzullo, chief market strategist at BellCurve Trading. He expects the S&P will ultimately rally towards 1,600 in the coming months.

    That target met with approval from Goldman Sachs, based on the bank's outlook of higher profits in 2008. Goldman raised its year-end estimate for the S&P to 1,600 from 1,550 on Tuesday, while the bank sees the Dow reaching 14,000 versus a prior target of 13,500.

    Goldman expects average earnings of $100 a share in 2008 for the S&P, up from an upwardly revised $93 in 2007.

    "The sources of growth continue to rotate, away from housing and consumer durable spending, and toward capital spending by corporations and solid export gains linked to improved growth outside the United States (NYSE:X)," said Goldman's analysts.

    Although current quarterly earnings have exceeded forecasts, Mr Strazzullo said they had not been strong enough to justify stock benchmarks hitting multi-year highs. Instead, the strong pace of mergers and buyouts along with stock buybacks was offsetting mixed economic data and bearishly positioned hedge funds, he said.

    Buybacks continued on Tuesday as CSX (NYSE:CSX) said it would repurchase an additional $1bn in its stock, taking its current program to $3bn, and boost its dividend by 25 per cent. At midday, the railroad operator was 0.3 per cent lower at $45.77, after it had set a 52-week high of $46.90 earlier in the day.

    "So far this year, announced corporate buying has averaged $5.7bn daily, which is 36 per cent higher than the annual record pace of $4.2bn daily in 2006," said analysts at TrimTabs. "With corporate America sucking this much cash out of the market, it is no wonder this market keeps confounding the bears."

    In trading activity on Tuesday, shares in AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) were up 9 per cent at $34.94 amid talk that the company could be acquired by ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker. The shares hit a 52-week high of $37.70 earlier in the day, and shares in US Steel also set a new 52-week high of $110.10. At midday, US Steel was up 2.8 per cent at $108.70. For the year to date, the S&P steel index has risen 28.8 per cent as consolidation talk has bolstered the sector.

    Shares in Motorola (NYSE:MOT) fell 2.2 per cent to $17.69 after Carl Icahn, the activist shareholder, failed to win a seat on the company's board at its annual meeting late on Monday.

    In earnings news, Warner Music posted a wider fiscal second-quarter net loss due to weaker revenue and costs from restructuring. Shares fell 0.3 per cent to $17.25.

    CVS/Caremark, the pharmacy services provider, said its first-quarter earnings rose 24 per cent and shares rose 2.4 per cent to $36.97. The results included 10 days of operation since Caremark, the drug benefits manager, was acquired by the retail pharmacy chain.

    Shares in Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) fell 1.5 per cent to $53.09, after the investment bank said first-quarter earnings rose 5 per cent, less than expected.

    Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Walt Disney were due to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell. Both are expected to post slightly better profits. Cisco was up 0.8 per cent at $28.02 at midday, while Disney was 0.3 per cent higher at $36.18.