Stocks were a bit worse for the wear on Friday, as Wall Street considered the possibility that a rebound in corporate profits could take a little longer than anticipated.
Investors appeared to be spooked by new government data showing that orders for durable goods fell 5 percent in April. Economists had been predicting a decline between 2 and 3 percent. Remarks from Alan Greenspan after-hours on Thursday may have moderated the downturn. The U.S. Federal Reserve chairman said that further rate cuts may be needed to shore defenses against long-term economic weakness.
"Bottom line here: Rome wasn't built in a day. Recovery won't happen overnight," said analyst James Philburn. "The street is still skittish; investors are trying to adapt to a long-term view, but the panic [from first-quarter reports and government economic data] in the tech arena won't be easy to shake."
Heading into the three-day weekend, the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at 2,251.06, down almost 31 points for the day, but up 53 points from last Friday's bell. The Nasdaq peak closing for this week happened on Tuesday, when it closed at 2,313.85.
As traders head off to grill burgers this Memorial Day weekend, they leave the Dow Jones Industrial Average standing at 11,005.37, down 117 points for the day, down almost 296 points from last Friday's close. The Dow's high closing this week was Monday, when it closed at 11,337.92.
Volume on both markets were the lightest so far this year, due to the holiday weekend.
The first quarter was less than kind for the U.S. Unix and Linux server market. Dataquest researches say the domestic market for Unix servers shrunk almost 2 percent in the first three months of the year, thanks in no small part to the sluggish economy. Despite the doom and gloom, the big dogs -- Sun, Dell, and IBM -- saw double-digit growth in their server business.
Borland blends Java and Mac
Borland Software Corporation on Monday raised the curtain on the beta version of JBuilder 5 for Apple's Mac OS X. This marks the software maker's return to the Mac, a platform it hasn't supported since the mid-1990s. JBuilder is a visual Java development environment; in addition to OS X JBuilder is supported on Linux, Solaris, and Windows.
VA's loss leaps 41 percent
VA Linux, parent company of OSDN, of which NewsForge is a part, released its earnings report for the first quarter of 2001. Revenues were $20.3 million for the first quarter, down from $34.6 million in the same quarter last year, a 41 percent drop. Shares closed at $4.70 after the announcement, and settled at $4.46 on Friday.
Investors tune in TiVo
Digital recorder maker TiVo saw its stock rise 72 percent on Thursday, when the company released news that it had been awarded additional patents for its technology. After closing at $8.50 on Thursday, shares shot up to $11.21 at the end of trading on Friday. TiVo's Linux-based devices allow consumers to record television shows onto a hard drive. The company is also considering going after Microsoft for licensing fees. Microsoft recently introduced a competing digital recorder.
Peace, love, and petroleum
IBM announced its latest supercomputer, a cluster of 256 IBM eServer systems, all running Linux. Oil company WesternGeco will use the cluster as a seismic imaging system to "sniff out" in its never-ending quest for new oil deposits, thus eliminating the more costly and time-consuming drilling method.
Intel founder retires
Intel founder Gordon Moore retired from his company's board of directors on Thursday. He'll continue to serve as chairman and director emeritus, but will no longer hold any voting power.
A Morningstar.com analyst speculates on the possibility that Apple could purchase PDA maker Handpsring. With a market value around $1.3 billion, and Handspring founders who created the original Palm device, the deal is certainly attractive and possible for Apple.
NewsForge was first with the news of top management changes at MandrakeSoft, including an email interview with CEO Jacques Le Marois. While reassuring that MandrakeSoft was in tip-top shape, Le Marois also mentioned that the company is currently working on bringing an IPO to market.
Here's how Open Source and related stocks did this week:
|Company Name||Symbol||5/25 Close||5/18 Close|
|Borland Software Int'l||BORL||10.06||10.04|
|Merlin Software Tech.||MLSW.OB||0.28||0.30|
|VA Linux Systems||LNUX||4.46||4.20|
|Wind River Systems||WIND||25.03||22.52|