There’s a lot of talk about ‘dead cat” bounces in the financial markets these days.
Nobody really knows if the stock market has hit bottom, but last week’s rebound continues into Monday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went on “60 Minutes” and said that the recession could abate if the government “stimulus” plan weaves its magic by year end.
So I checked the Bog Boards after the opening on Monday, and the news was pretty good. The Dow was up 114 at 7,338 at 10 Am. The S&P 500 was up 13 at 770. But the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 1 at 1,431. Not exactly a dead cat, but we'll need a few more days of growth to be more certain.
Market bellwethers offered a mixed bag, however. Take a look: (as of 10 AM on Monday morning).
-- Apple Inc fell $.21 or .2 percent, to $95.72.
-- Dell Inc fell $.17 or 1.8 percent, to $9.20.
-- Hewlett Packard rose $.12 or .4 percent, to $29.57.
-- IBM rose $.95 or 1.1 percent, to $91.31.
-- Lexmark fell $.17 or 1.0 percent, to $16.92.
Some tech observers are still in their cups over the bad news from Gartner, which has recast its 2009 tech spending numbers. Now, Gartner says it now expects global IT spending to be down 3.7% in 2009, a sharp reduction from its previous forecast, which had called for growth of 2.2%. But the longer term view is rosier, as Gartner now sees 2010 spending rebounding just 2.4%, rather than the 5% rebound previously expected. According to Gartner, the new forecast suggests overall IT spending won’t surpass the 2008 level until 2011. For this year, the tech analyst sees GDP falling 1.2% for the entire year, calling it the “the sharpest slowdown in the global economy since 1982.” Gartner says the government stimulus package will likely be important in the long run, but will not be able to offset the “bleak near-term outlook.” Concludes Gartner: “Until global financial markets stabilize, global GDP growth, including IT spending, is unlikely to strengthen.”
Elsewhere, there’s a rumor floating around that Twitter will enter into some kind of merger deal with Google. Business Week says the two tech giants are “in talks" but doesn’t get more specific than that. The business weekly does say that we’ll see some kind of deal “Within two weeks”. I can’t wait – and neither can Microsoft, who is no doubt looking on with keen interest.
Palm is out with an earnings update, telling analysts that revenues for this quarter could fall by 70%, even though it’s getting ready to introduce its new “Pre” smart phone. The good news for Palm was up 7.5 percent at one point Friday after an analyst upgraded the company, saying its new operating system has boosted the company's potential to catch up with smart phone industry leaders Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd.
“Boosted” is a strong word, but Palm looks like it may survive - a situation many analysts had bet against late last year.