The bearish global economic environment just keeps adding pressure to technology stocks. As gross domestic product (GDP) drops in bourses around the globe, tech traders are nervous, at least for the short term. Take Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun is seeing a decline in GDP, falling to the lowest rate since 1974. If you take Japan, the globe’s biggest economy after the U.S. and China, and its tens of millions of consumers down a few economic notches, that’s going to continue to hurt global demand for products that Sony, Nintendo, Canon, Fujitsu, and Oki make, among other major …

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Both the Dow and the Nasdaq are flirting with positive territory today, thanks in part to one biotechnology stalwart, Amgen, which is up three points in trading. Why? Well, the Street is getting excited about life sciences stocks again, as several research reports hit the street suggesting that the biopharm sector was undervalued, fueling a run-up in the sector today. Overall, the market seems to be digesting the lousy jobs number issued this morning, with the private sector lopping off 250,000 more jobs in November. Brightening things up a bit is news from the Labor Department that productivity, the key …

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Call it a tale of two headlines: "Microsoft and Yahoo in talks again on online unit": 30 Nov 2008/Reuters "Microsoft-Yahoo deal "total fiction:" 30 Nov 2008/Reuters So which is it? One of the key players originally mentioned as a possible replacement for Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has told a Wall Street Journal blog that a proposed Microsoft/Yahoo deal is "total fiction". That story was unveiled by the U.K.-based Sunday Times, which reported that Microsoft would buy Yahoo's search division for $20 billion; and that a key part of that deal would be Microsoft bringing in its own management team. "The …

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Trying, ever so hard, to find some good news amidst the doom and gloom on Wall Street. At least the market went up for a second straight session, with the DJIA up 400 points on Monday trading; that after rising 500 points last Friday. Investors seemed cautiously optimistic about the Federal Reserve/U.S. Government's plan to bail out Citicorp to the tune of $300 million. And one trader, perhaps suffering from a nasty case of irrational exuberance, thought that the stock market had finally found its bottom. I won't go that far, but two straight days of triple-digit gains on Wall …

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The invaluable Tech Ticker pour more gasoline on the fire we started yesterday on the historical decline of the U.S. stock market in 2008. Says TT; "Any way you slice it, the 2008 is shaping up to annus horribilis for the U.S. stock market. Heading into Friday's session, in which an early rally effort quickly faded, the S&P was down 49% year-to-date and on track for its worst year ever. Down 43% year to date, the Dow is heading for its second worst year in history, the WSJ reports, trailing only the 53% decline in 1931." An astonishing number of …

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"Jerry, how can we miss you if you won't go away?" Such was the refrain from Yahoo investors for months on end, who could only watch helplessly as the company lost $20 billion in value under the reign of Jerry Yang. Sure, it's not all Yang's fault. The economy cratered at a time when Yahoo could least afford it and Google's ascent to the top of the web search engine mountaintop didn't give Yahoo a lot of room to maneuver. But tell that to Yahoo shareholders today, many of whom are ecstatic - or whatever passes for ecstatic these days …

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Barrons has a great article today on how tech industry chief information officers and chief financial officers can't keep up with the free-fall in consumer spending. That's why we're seeing so many downward adjustments in industry revenue estimates that, right now, seem to be spread way out into 2009. The magazine is forecasting that with a strengthening dollar and the decline in consumer spending, the technology sector is looking at "multiple quarters of negative revenue growth." That scenario is more bearish than the one presented today by U.S. economists, who are predicting a recession that will last 14 months (with …

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Monday through Wednesday of this week saw some of the worst damage to investors in stock market history - over $1 trillion lost in shareholder value. Buyers inched, and then flooded in after the S&P 500 bounced back from a trough that veteran traders hadn't seen in years. That triggered a buyers rush, as Ryan Larson, senior equity trader at Voyageur Asset Management told the Associated Press "It's a herd effect. We started going higher -- and you don't want to be the last one on the boat." But the damage done on the technology side of the market lingers …

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The stock market is in apparent free fall again this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 387 points and the Nasdaq is off 56 points. Global markets are particularly hard hit, with Japan's stock index down 10% - at lows we haven't seen since 2003. Weirdly, gold and oil are also down - just a complete selloff across the board. Traders are saying that today is the day that we finally might see complete capitulation - a day where investors cry "uncle" and sell everything. I though 7,000 - which would mean a 50% decline in the dow …

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At the end of trading today (Friday) it looks like the stock market won't end up in positive territory, but it will come close - an event every trader and investor on the planet planet will take in a Wall Street minute. No rhyme or reason why, it just seems that the market is finally ready to capitulate after eight straight days of mega-losses that wiped out over $2 trillion in portfolio assets in the U.S. alone. A point worth noting, markets always self-correct - in both directions. So eventually profit motives will be so strong that investors won't be …

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The stock market seems to be playing a waiting game with a Congressional bailout taking on a new shape in Washington. I’m hearing about a new bailout plan that would raise FDIC insurance limits from $100,000 to $250,000 and would include some kind of capital gains tax relief to ease pressure on investors. The core of the plan – billions in payouts to Wall Street firms strangling on toxic debt – is still intact. Still, that sounds better to me than the “crap sandwich” (as one House GOP leader put it) that Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi tried to foist …

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Last week saw a potential top in commodities prices, as both oil and gold prices seem to have stalled out from their upward march in 2008. That should have spelled relief for the stock market, which has been down by 13% in 2008, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yet, it didn’t. The week saw the Down finish lower by 0.63%, while the Standard & Poors 500 index rose by a meager 0.15%. The market may be waiting until after Labor Day, where it can have another two weeks to be certain that commodity prices have topped out. …

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Looking for a “relief rally”? That’s what Wall Street calls a temporary lull in selling that could lead to a more sustainable uptick in broad-based stock prices. Usually, it’s one industry that feeds the bounce-back and Kevin DePew, an analyst and editor at Minyanville.com, which tracks the stock market, says that technology is that industry right now. As a result, several indicators that he uses are back to levels last seen before the market's mid-March bounce. In an interview on TechTalk today, Depew pointed to the Bullish Percent Indicator and High-Low Index produced by Investors Intelligence as proof of a …

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With the stock market down 300 points, once again thanks to high oil prices (now over $140 per barrel), technology stocks should be directly in the line of fire. But they’re not – and some big shot investors think the technology sector might even be a good defensive stop-gap until the economy rebounds. Take Diane Garnick, a fund manager at Invesco, a firm with over $500 billion in assets under management. She made the case for tech stocks today on the Tech Talk pod cast, arguing that, in a tough economy, companies will look to technology to help them cut …

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The stock market is taking another major hit today after consumer confidence numbers came in well below expectations. The Conference Board, which measures the monthly consumer confidence number, reports that June’s number fell to 50.4%, down from 57% in May. Big investors had been anticipating consumer confidence numbers in the 56% or 57% range. But those are just numbers – the real questions what are they telling us? And what does that mean for the technology sector. The answer to the first question is easy. Americans are absolutely terrified about rising energy prices. With the cost of everything from gasoline …

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Harris Associates is typically one of the better value strategists out there - especially when it comes to finding value in technology stocks. One reason is why is the stock-picking acumen of chief information officer David Herro. He was interviewed on Tech Ticker this morning and had some interesting things to say about the tech sector and the prospects - long-and short-term of some of the sectors biggest names like Intel and Dell. I was scribbling notes from the interview as fast as I could. So, as accurately as I can gauge, here is Herro's take on the tech sector.. …

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Tech stocks have been lagging along with the rest of the stock market so far in 2008, but its long-term prospects are much, much better. So says Imran Khan, a JP Morgan senior analysts who specializes in the telecom and Internet markets. Khan is one of my favorite analysts and his argument that technology has a long way to go if it ever hits critical mass - if ever - is a compelling one. His case is also a simple one - so simple most financial analysts miss it. Tech stocks will rise because capitalism - often brutally criticized in …

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I’ve been tough on Google this year, and with good reason. Part of what I do is write about how technology impacts the financial fortunes of companies and Google has been losing market share to the lousy economy and to other web portal developers in recent months. Look at online advertising – some estimates that paid “clicks” – where Web 2.0 providers make their bread and butter – have been off by anywhere from 5% to 15% so far in 2008. And reports from users of Google AdWords – despite a big splash in 2006 and 2007 when paid search …

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It’s a big day for semiconductor stocks, with an upbeat forecast from chip giant Intel boosting stocks in other semiconductor companies and giving the overall market a nice bounce, as well. Through mid-morning trading, Intel is up $1, to $22 per share. Other chip companies are following suit . . . -- Texas Instruments Inc. up 38 cents to $29.10 -- Qualcomm Inc., up 74 cents to $41.93 -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. up 16 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $5.94 Although Intel’s net income fell by 12% for the quarter, thanks to costs incurred in the company’s recent restructuring …

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It’s been a lousy first quarter for tech stocks but the outlook for the second quarter of 2008 looks brighter and shinier. So say the investment gurus at Tech Ticker – specifically former Wall Street tech analyst Henry Blodget and Barons West Coast editor Eric Savitz. Savitz says there are plenty of bargains and buying opportunities for tech investors as April opens up. “We’re still seeing a deterioration in fundamentals, specifically with Oracle’s mediocre earnings picture (from last week) and with Google and the ongoing online advertising malaise.” But Savitz really seems to like certain sectors, like semiconductors, where stock …

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I wrote about Motorola last year, when the consumer technology provider was struggling to keep up with tougher Asian market competitors like Samsung and Nokia. The Associated Press reports that shares of Motorola, which has a market value of about $22 billion, have fallen more than 60 percent since October 2006, amid handset market share losses and criticism for failing to come up with a strong successor to the once-lauded Razr phone. Lately, Motorola's had a "grandpa" problem - consumers didn't think its cell phones were cool - at least as cool as the i-Phone, the Blackberry, or some of …

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I was talking to my brother again this Easter weekend – the one who traded equity options on Wall Street for 20 years. He’s consulting now, but still has some good opinions on the markets – especially the stock market over the past two or three bruising months – and the stock market going forward. He tells me that the technology side of the market won’t go up until the U.S. housing market gets its act together. More specifically, tech companies won’t spend as much money or hire as many people, and will keep a tighter lid on costs, until …

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I was so wrapped up in the AOL hoopla yesterday that I forgot to mention how well technology stocks are doing so far this week. Sure, today's trading session wasn't exactly stellar: Microsoft, Apple, AOL and others all lost ground - but only by a little. Monday and Tuesday were much friendlier to tech investors, many of whom are pinning big hopes on the Federal Reserve and it's decision to infuse the banking industry with $200 billion in capital in an effort to get borrowers and lenders back on the financial dance floor together and into each other's arms. Shares …

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Only a few weeks ago, things were rosy on Wall Street . . . well, as rosy as things can get in the money maelstrom of Manhattan. The Dow Jones Industrial Index (DJIA) -- the chief benchmark for the U.S. stock market -- had surpassed the magic 14,000 mark. Most companies, including technology companies, were reporting solid quarterly gains. According to the Business Week Global Information Technology Index, IT stocks were up over 6.9% in 2007. Computer & Peripherals (14.4%) and Seminconductors (9.5%) were doing even better. So why are tech company CFO's acting crankier than Lindsey Lohan over last …

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The End.