Stories by Eileen Buckley

Fed cuts rates a half percentage point

As was widely expected, the US Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee cut short-term interest rates by 50 basis points Wednesday, setting the federal funds rate at 5.5 percent. This is the second time this month that the Fed has moved to cut interest rates, ending a 19-month inflation-fighting bias with a pair of quick and robust rate cuts to counteract the threat of a recession.

Early Market Movers: Waiting for Greenspan

Earlier this week, the most potent catalysts of market activity were specific earnings announcements. But Wednesday morning, investors wait for U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's statement on the macro state of the U.S. economy.

A.M. Market Movers: Nasdaq Down on Missed Earnings

Earnings contractions darken the third quarter: More pre-announcements impacted the tech sector in overnight trading. By 11:54 am ET, the Nasdaq was down 0.99 percent, or 34.98, to 3488.12, and Inc. (TSCM) Internet index fell 2.06 percent, or 13.50, to 640.89. The Dow lost 0.32 percent, or 34.04, to 10750.44.

Dot-Coms in the Black

Cash eaters. Bottomless pits. Loss centers. The black epithets that hang over Internet startups these days have tainted the notion of putting "dot-com" on a company's name; an idea that a year ago was emblematic of the promise of the Internet Economy.

Market Movers: PCs Do the Driving

The Nasdaq gained a nice, round 85 points Thursday, closing with a gain of 2.12 percent over Wednesday's close, at 4098.34. Inc. (TSCM) 's Internet index fell 0.92 percent, or 7.78 points, to close at 838.29, and the Dow lost 0.45 percent, or 50.77 points, to close at 11259.87.

Market Movers: Techs Lead the Way

Large-cap tech stocks and other "traditional" technology companies sent the Nasdaq up 2.5 percent, or 102.54 points, to 4206.35 Thursday. "The core tech names are driving" the market's increase, "telecommunications and semiconductor companies," said Greg Konezny, a senior research analyst at U.S. Bancorp (USB) Piper Jaffray. Dell shot up $3.69, or 9.23 percent, to $43.62; Cisco Systems Inc. was up $1.94, or 2.91 percent, to $68.50. Intel Corp. (INTC) , meanwhile, gained $1.37, or 1.87 percent, to close at $74.87.

Playing the Net, Minus Net Stocks

Finally, some signs that the Internet is adding to corporate profits. Not at the pure-play companies languishing in red ink, but at others that few investors see as Internet plays: the old-economy stalwarts using the Net to lower costs.

Market Movers: Baby Steps

Things are looking up. The global economy is strengthening relative to its performance in the past few years, and the U.S. economy continues to move onward and upward at a steady pace. Investor sentiment reflects this. The Nasdaq composite index has maintained a 10-day winning streak, ending Thursday up 1.05 percent, or 42.27, to 4053.28. The Dow also had a strong day, rising 0.34 percent, or 38.09 points, to close at 11182.74. Inc. (TSCM) 's Internet index likewise enjoyed a boost, rising 1.42 percent, or 11.27 points, to 802.21.

Market Movers: Cisco Is a Friend of Mine

Reversing Tuesday's performance, the Dow fell 0.65 percent, or 71.06, to close at 10905.83 on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq rose 0.13 percent, or 4.95, to close at 3853.50. Inc. (TSCM) 's Internet Index took a sharp slide of 2.18 percent, or 16.55, to close at 744.30.

Market Movers: One Step Forward, One Step Back

The old economy proved it's still got some kick Tuesday as the Dow rose 1.01 percent, or 109.88, to close at 10976.89. The increase is broadly the result of stronger-than-predicted second-quarter productivity in the U.S. economy. Analysts had expected a 4.3 percent annual rate and were pleasantly surprised with the actual 5.3 percent result. This news also bodes well for interest-rate watchers, as Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan is unlikely to raise rates now that inflation worries are placated by strong productivity.

Holding Analysts Accountable

On Jan. 17, Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget appeared on CNN's Moneyline and said how much he liked Internet Capital Group. Shares of the business-to-business incubator, which had fallen to $133 from $171 the previous week, have since fallen below $30.