Is it 2010 yet?
Few people want to wish their lives away, but Wall Street might gladly trade a year of its life for a time machine that would take the market straight to 2010, when hopefully this mess will be behind us.
Today's Barron's lays out the numbers and it's a grim story, with Nasdaq as Exhibit "A". The Nasdaq Composite70.30, or 5.1%, to 1,316.12. The Nasdaq has fallen 167 points, or more than 11% in just two days. The Nasdaq is down 464 points, or 35% since closing on Election Day at 1780.12. Since peaking at 2859.12 on Halloween 2007, the Nasdaq is down 1,543 points, or 54%.
"In case you were wondering, the Nasdaq’s post-bubble low came on October 9, 2002, at 1114.11. That’s only 202 points away, which at the rate we’re going we could hit by Turkey Day," says Barron's.
The financial daily lays out a "hit list" of high-tech heavyweights and how they're faring in 2008 . . . .
-- Microsoft (MSFT) fell 76 cents, or 4.2%, to $17.53. That’s a 10-year low.
-- Cisco (CSCO) fell 61 cents, or 4.1%, to $14.47. That’s a new 5-year low.
-- Intel (INTC) fell 26 cents, or 2.1%, to $12.23. That’s a 12-year low; the stock now offers a 4.3% dividend yield.
-- Flextronics (FLEX) fell 67 cents, or 29.5%, to $1.60. As noted earlier, the stock has been in free-fall of late, thanks in part to a more cautious Q4 outlook.
-- Oracle (ORCL) fell 60 cents, or 3.8%, to $15.40. Has held up better than some other things; “only” down 32% this year.
-- Apple (AAPL) fell $5.80, or 6.7%, to $80.49. As Marketwatch noted today, the stock is now cheaper than before it launched the iPhone.
-- Dell (DELL) fell 54 cents, or 5.2%, to $9.81. But the stock bounced after hours as cost-controls boosted profits for the latest quarter above Street estimates.
-- Comcast (CMCSA) fell 47 cents, or 3.4%, to $13.30. The company’s market cap has dropped below $40 billion.
-- Yahoo (YHOO) fell 19 cents, or 2.1%, to $8.95. The stock hasn’t been below $9 since 2002.
-- Qualcomm (QCOM) fell 80 cents, or 2.7%, to $29.21. The stock has hasn’t been under $30 since 2004.
At least Dell had some good news, of sorts, today. Although every time I see Dell come of out with new quarterly numbers this year, I think about that famous quote by Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell. It goes like this . . .
"What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”
– Michael Dell on what he would do if he were CEO of Apple (AAPL), circa 1997.
The way things are going with Dell, its shareholders may not object to closing the company's doors and getting a check in the mail for their troubles. Dell reports a 5% drop in revenues for Q3. Dell said it earned $727 million, or 37 cents a share, on revenue of $15.16 billion. During the same period a year ago, Dell earned $766 million, or 34 cents a share, on $15.65 billion in sales. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had forecast the computer giant to earn 32 cents a share on $16.3 billion in sales.
On a conference call with analysts earlier today, Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said that its job-cutting program helped to stem bigger losses. Dell ended Q3 with 80,800 employees, down almost 11,000 from its high point earlier this year.
Slowing growth is another issue for Dell, and not a good one. Total computers shipped for the quarter dropped to a 3% growth rate, compared to growth spikes of 19%, 22% and 19%, in the last three quarters, respectively.
Dell saw its stock price rise 3.5% to $10.15 in after hours trading. Not looking to jinx anything, however small, Dell was mum about what it though about market conditions for Q4. Maybe silence is golden, but I doubt it. Look for further declines for Dell over the next quarter.