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by 8/3/2000 9:31 AM
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The market is an ill-tempered mistress these days. She is getting ready to unleash her wrath on Kulicke & Soffa Industries (KLIC- 14-1/8) after an earnings warning. Late Wednesday, the supplier of semiconductor-assembly equipment announced that there would be some customer-order deferrals due in part to shortages for other needed parts by customers. The company noted that this may impact financial performance in the current quarter and in the first fiscal quarter of 2001. Investors have essentially shrugged off the fact that KLIC reported a third-quarter profit of $1.35 per share, which blew away analysts' estimates of $1.06 per share. In reaction to this news, the stock gapped 35 percent lower at the open.<
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by 8/3/2000 9:03 AM
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An ugly night in overnight trading has set up Wall Street for a rough open. Three of 18 world markets are higher thus far. On average, overseas markets fell by 1.15 percent. The top four major markets and their respective returns are: Ireland (ISQND - 5224.9), up 0.76 percent; South Africa (JIIND - 8644.6), up 0.15 percent; Australia (SYIND - 3236), up 0.12 percent; and Hong Kong (HKIND - 17274), down 0.02 percent. The bottom four major markets and their respective returns are: Finland (HEXND - 12835), down 3.79 percent; Sweden (AFFND - 5502), down 3.03 percent; Japan (NIKKEI - 15814.4), down 2.42 percent; and France (CACND - 6402), down 1.96 percent.
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by 8/2/2000 4:34 PM
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According to First Call/Thomson Financial , 421, or 84 percent, of the companies listed on the S&P 500 Index (.SPX - 1438.7) have reported earnings for the June quarter, and 29 percent have been positive surprises, with only four percent reporting negative surprises. At about the same time last quarter, 38 percent were positive surprises, with only four percent negative surprises. Compared to a year ago, earnings are on pace to rise 21.2 percent. Eighty percent of companies that have reported are above year-ago figures, while only 18 percent are below the same quarter last year.<
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by 8/2/2000 4:11 PM
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The Commerce Department's release of June construction spending figures suggest that the once red-hot sector of the economy continues to slow. Construction spending fell 1.7 percent in June, significantly lower than an expected 0.1-percent rise. The drop to an annual rate of $800 billion followed last month's downwardly revised 0.2-percent drop, the second consecutive decline after seven months of flat to up readings. The decrease was significant, as it helps to confirm that last month's retreat may not have been merely a pause in the robust housing sector and that the Fed's interest-rate increases have begun to have an effect. Residential construction declined 1.4 percent, its third straight monthly drop.<
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by 8/2/2000 3:55 PM
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The release of the July National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) data was no surprise to market watchers. The July NAPM business index was unchanged, remaining at 51.8. The figure was down from May's 53.2, indicating a continuation of the slight slowing in manufacturing activity throughout the U.S. over the past few months. The consensus forecast called the index to remain at 51.8. The July reading corresponds to an annualized gross domestic product (GDP) of 3.4 percent, much lower than the past three quarters and very close to the Fed's desired moderate growth rate. The prices-paid index rose slightly from June's 61.2, its lowest reading since September. That figure is still lower than May's 65.8 and follows three straight declines in the prices-paid index. What the numbers suggest is that not only have the Federal Reserve's interest-rate increases over the past year slowed the economy, the threat of inflation in the form of higher prices may have waned and the slowing has not yet reversed.
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